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Car’s plunge is latest in string of misfortunes for canal

A car went into the Augusta Canal off Interstate 20 on Jan. 16, 2022.
A car went into the Augusta Canal off Interstate 20 on Jan. 16, 2022.(GDOT)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 10:20 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A vehicle’s crash through the Interstate 20 guardrail and into the Augusta Canal is just the latest among several calamities for the waterway in recent months.

According to authorities, traffic wasn’t impacted by Sunday morning’s crash.

Officials said Monday the car was removed around midday Sunday and contractors will repair the guardrail at a later date.

But if recent history is any indicator, it won’t be the last time something like this happens.

The accident came less than a month after a big-rig crashed off the bridge and into the canal.

The 18-wheeler carrying kaolin — a naturally occurring claylike substance — went off the bridge Dec. 27, snarling traffic for a day as eastbound I-20 was narrowed to one lane while crews assessed damage to the guardrail and worked to get the truck out of the canal.

The driver was not injured in that crash.

The Augusta Canal and other tributaries of the Savannah River haven’t had a good past few months. There’s been a series of people and vehicles going into it with sometimes deadly consequences — although most of those incidents have happened elsewhere in the waterway.

On Oct. 5, someone apparently dumped a vehicle into the canal at the end of Curry Street at Division Street. After it was reported by a witness, authorities searched the scene, thinking someone had driven in. They pulled the vehicle from the canal but found no body.

On Oct. 1, a man believed to be homeless, 68-year-old Kenneth Dawson, was found dead in the canal.

And the day begore, 72-year-old Wayne Weinberg, of Aiken, died in a presumed drowning when his kayak flipped over in the Betty’s Branch tributary of the river.

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