Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

October 28, 2010

Vehicle accidents claim two local lives

Traveler injured on interstate

Vienna & Americus — Separate vehicle accidents this week have claimed the lives of two men, one from Vienna and the other from Cordele.

Charlie L. Kimsey of Vienna perished when the four-wheeler he was riding Sunday afternoon struck a tree. Tommy Glenn Haire of Cordele passed away Tuesday about 4 a.m., several hours after he crossed the center  line on GA 30 in Sumter County, and his vehicle was struck by another pickup truck.

Wednesday, about noon, a one-vehicle accident on I-75 in Dooly County left a North Carolina man critically injured. His traveling companion, a German Shepherd was struck and killed  after he was ejected from the vehicle when it overturned.

Vienna Police Chief Jamey Reed said one of his police officers responded to a call to a wooded area behind N. 6th St. about 1:45 p.m. Sunday.

When the officer arrived, he said both Dooly County EMS and Vienna Fire Department personnel were on the scene attending to Kimsey who had been involved in a four-wheeler accident.

Reed was notified and when he arrived on the scene, he said he learned that Mr. Kimsey had succumbed to his injuries. He and Officer Ray investigated the incident.

He said it appeared that the ATV struck a tree head-on at a high rate of speed. The rider was not wearing a helmet and was ejected. The preliminary investigation indicates that alcohol consumption may have been a contributing factor in the accident, Reed said.

“My heart goes out to Mr. Kimsey’s loved ones in this very difficult time. Given the tragic circumstances of this accident, I strongly encourage those who ride all-terrain vehicles to ensure they have the proper training and wear the appropriate safety gear at all times while riding.”

Americus Georgia State Patrol Post Commander Sgt. Ellis said Tommy Haire was traveling east in a 1998 Ford pickup truck on GA 30 near Lamar Rd. and the Flint River when he ran off the roadway onto the south shoulder about 10:15 p.m. Monday.

Ellis said Haire apparently overcorrected, lost control and went across both the east and westbound lanes before traveling into the path of a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Jeremy Law, 29, of Americus.

Law’s vehicle then struck Haire’s truck in the passenger front door, spinning Haire’s truck around. Initially, Haire was transported to Crisp Regional, then airlifted to Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon for treatment of his injuries.

Ellis said he passed away about 4 a.m. Tuesday in Macon. Haire, he said, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Law also was injured, Ellis said, and he was transported to Phoebe-Sumter where he underwent surgery on some broken bones. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, the trooper said.

After the impact, Law’s vehicle traveled off the roadway into a ditch and stopped in a pecan orchard, Ellis explained. Law was wearing a seatbelt, the post commander said.

Leonard Lafiura of Murphy, NC was  airlifted to a Macon hospital after his SUV overturned on I-75 just south of Vienna.

Georgia State Patrol M/TPR David Grantham who responded to the scene said Lafiura suffered serious injuries in the crash. He was traveling north on I-75 when for unknown reasons he ran off the right hand side of the road striking a tree, Grantham added.

Both Mr. Lafiura and his dog Sam were ejected from the vehicle. Witnesses reported that Sam wandered onto the interstate where he was struck by a vehicle, then he ran off.

A truck driver traveling in that area stopped and chased the dog down, but he died enroute to a veterinarian’s office.

Grantham said Mr. Lafiura’s family was notified almost immediately.

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