Originally created 11/05/04

Across the area



Officials cite speed in crash

A fatal accident that caused a massive traffic jam on Interstate 20 in Aiken County was most likely caused by speeding, South Carolina Highway Patrol officials said Thursday.

Linda C. Hightower, 45, of Sylvania, Ga., was killed Wednesday when her car vaulted the median from the westbound lane and crashed head-on into the path of a tractor-trailer at about 6:15 p.m.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 53-year-old Benard Gill, of New Orleans, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and was in good condition Thursday afternoon.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Brian McDougal said Ms. Hightower was speeding when she came up on a slower car and swerved to avoid hitting it.

The accident backed up eastbound traffic from Mile Marker 9 to the Georgia state line at one point.

Food drive collects more than 40 tons

More than 40 tons of food donations were collected for this year's "It's Spooky To Be Hungry" food drive campaign, according to numbers released Thursday.

Volunteers of the effort collected 86,473 pounds of food, and $46,095 was raised to give to Golden Harvest Food Bank, said the group's founder and co-chairwoman, Evelyn Browne.

She said both numbers set records for giving. The group collected 61,000 pounds of food and donated $31,000 last year.

Police arrest man on drug charges

Police arrested a 30-year-old Augusta man on drug possession charges Wednesday, according to officials.

David Brandon Ramos, of the 4200 block of Match Point Drive, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and was taken to the Richmond County jail.

According to a Richmond County sheriff's report, deputies searched Mr. Ramos' home and found two plastic bags, one containing five grams of marijuana and the other with six grams. There also was a large bag containing about 123 grams of marijuana in his dresser drawer, the report states.

Augusta man faces charges in car theft

A 20-year-old Augusta man was arrested Thursday after police said he stole a car, ran it into a pole and then fled Wednesday night.

Craig Russell Redfern, of the 2500 block of Deans Bridge Road, was charged with one felony count of theft by taking and was taken to the Richmond County jail.

According to a police report, Blaine Baxley, of Hephzibah, told police Mr. Redfern drove off in his 1996 Mazda B3000 without his permission.

The report says Mr. Redfern hit a parked car and then a utility pole on the 1900 block of Haynie Drive before running.

North Augusta man is killed in car crash

A 59-year-old North Augusta man has died in a two-car accident a Bettis Academy Road and U.S. Highway 25 in Edgefield County, authorities said Thursday.

Charlie Tillman, a passenger in a Toyota 4-Runner, died from injuries after the vehicle was struck by a Toyota pickup Wednesday evening, Edgefield County Coroner Thurmond Burnett said. Mr. Tillman was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the SUV, 55-year-old Dorothy Tillman, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and was in good condition Thursday.

Lance Cpl. Steve Sluder of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the truck, driven by 18-year-old Joseph Brooks Doolittle, of Edgefield, was going west on Bettis Academy Road and ran a stop sign, hitting the SUV.

Mr. Doolittle also was taken to MCG and was in good condition Thursday afternoon. Lance Cpl. Sluder said charges against him are pending.

Martinez man jailed for child molestation

A Martinez man was booked into the Richmond County jail Thursday afternoon after he was found guilty of three counts of child molestation, jail records show.

William David Hill, 41, of the 200 block of Pinehurst Drive, was booked at 3:57 p.m. after being transported from court at the Municipal Building on Greene Street, records show.

Richmond County court records show Mr. Hill was indicted in April 2003 on the charges.

Although the online records available to The Augusta Chronicle on Thursday night do not show the nature of the accusations, the records list the dates of the offenses as 1995, 1998 and 2000.

Mr. Hill is being held for sentencing.

Augustan is charged with drug trafficking

Richmond County sheriff's deputies charged an Augusta man with trafficking in drugs near a school Thursday, jail records state.

Officers charged Leemon Borden III, 26, of the 2400 block of Bahama Drive, with trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in drugs within 1,000 feet of a school. The report did not list the school.

The record shows that narcotics investigators arrested Mr. Borden at 6:35 p.m. near Deans Bridge Road and Jennings Road.

The record also states he was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

2 men face burglary charges in break-in

North Augusta authorities have charged two men in a break-in at the home of an East Avenue resident after one of the men attacked the resident and led police on a manhunt, a police report states.

Tony B. Holloway, 18, of the 2100 block of Howard Road, and Andrew Holloway, 19, of the 1900 block of Pearl Street, were charged with burglary in the second degree and grand larceny, according to a report from the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.

Debra McGee, 45, and Beverly Long, 39, told police that the two men came to the home at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The report states that Tony Holloway had come to collect $100 loaned to Ms. McGee. After she gave him the money and closed the door, she said, he kicked in the door, hit her in the head and kicked her while Andrew Holloway hit Ms. Long.

The two men took a television and stereo, then fled, the report states. After getting into an automobile accident, the two ran and were later found near B.C. Davenport's on Georgia Avenue.

The record shows Tony Holloway also was charged with simple assault.