November 26, 2006
It was a deadly holiday weekend on both Georgia and South Carolina highways.
At time of writing, 23 people had died while on the road, making this year deadlier than last year.
"I've seen three wrecks...it's crazy," said traveler Charlotte Surgick.
"Everybody's in a rush at the holiday time," said traveler Brian Lloyd. "Everybody is trying to get somewhere."
But some never made it there. 18 people died in car accidents on Georgia roads this weekend, and five died in South Carolina, in well over 3000 accidents.
The Georgia Highway Patrol says the holiday weekend is especially dangerous not only because of the increased number of cars on the road but also the increased number of people driving under the influence.
One after another, accidents claimed lives in both states. In Georgia, the deadliest stretch of road was near the Athens-Gainesville area.
"It's sad," Charlotte said. "It's sad because people know that they are traveling and they need to be safe. They need to drive slower. They know that before they leave and unfortunately stuff happens and people are not always looking out for that other person or themselves."
Georgia Highway Patrol did their best to look out for drivers, setting up patrols all along Georgia's major highways. Charlotte was glad to see them out.
"It's a lot of accidents and a lot of police out here too," she said. "Highway patrol, they're all over and it's good for safety."
It's good for drivers and their precious cargo.
"I have two girls and two more on the way, so my parental antenna is always up," Brian said. "Just slow it down a bit and be mindful of others...especially during the holidays."
Georgia State Patrol reports 82 people died on Georgia's roads over the last five years. After this weekend, that number will now reach 100.
Five people died on highways across the river in South Carolina.
And what do these accidents cost?
According to Georgia Insurance Information Service, accidents this weekend in Georgia will cost an average of nearly $12.2 million. That includes estimates for repairs to vehicles and medical expenses.
The Cost of Accidents
Weekend Crashes: 3,389
Total Cost: 12,176,800
Of course, no price can be put on the 18 lives lost in Georgia this weekend.