Originally created 05/06/04

Young driver dies in wreck

AIKEN - For the second time in three days, a young Aiken County driver has died as the result of a one-car accident.

The death of 21-year-old John M. Dewbre, of Belvedere, on Wednesday marked the 14th fatal traffic accident in Aiken County this year. Chief Deputy Coroner Tim Carlton said Mr. Dewbre was killed when his 1996 Chevrolet S-10 truck crossed two lanes of northbound traffic on U.S Highway 1 in North Augusta at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. He was ejected from the vehicle.

Mr. Dewbre died of multiple body trauma, Mr. Carlton said.

A passenger, Jonathan Holley, was treated at the scene. Mr. Carlton said there was evidence that alcohol might have been a factor in the wreck.

On Monday, 18-year-old Sonja Lasser, of Aiken, died at Medical College of Georgia Hospital of injuries she suffered in a Saturday night wreck on Talathia Church Road. There was no evidence of alcohol use in that wreck, authorities said.

Neither Ms. Lasser nor Mr. Dewbre was wearing a seat belt, coroner's officials said.

In Aiken County's 14 fatal accidents this year, eight victims were not wearing seat belts. None of the four teens killed this year was wearing a seat belt. Two of the 13 wrecks were alcohol-related, with three cases still pending, coroner's officials said.

Mr. Dewbre was a 2000 graduate of North Augusta High School and briefly attended the University of South Carolina Aiken.

Reach Karen Etheridge or Stephen Gurr at (803) 648-1395.


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