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Ball Ground man dies in Cherry Log motorcycle wreck

  • Darby
by Mark Millican

For the third Saturday in a row, a person has died as the result of a motorcycle or four-wheeler wreck in Gilmer County. A Ball Ground man died following a motorcycle wreck on Highway 515 near Cherry Log on April 13, authorities said.

David Earl Darby, 41, was in a group of three motorcycles traveling north toward Blue Ridge when they were passing by another accident sometime around noon, said Gilmer County Coroner Jerry Hensley. Darby looked at the existing wreck, then when he looked up saw he was about to hit one of the other motorcycles and locked down the brakes on his bike and lost control, he added. 

Hensley said he did not know if the other accident was on the southbound or northbound lanes. Georgia State Patrol reports of the two wrecks were incomplete at presstime, but one witness reported both northbound and southbound lanes were blocked and traffic was eventually rerouted. The witness also said there were three helicopters at the crash site.

Darby was pronounced dead at Fannin Regional Hospital just after 1 p.m., Hensley said. His wife, Patty Darby, was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga but was released Sunday evening, said Earl Darby, the cousin of David Darby. 

Vanessa Renae Ellis, 22, of Woodstock, died on March 30 after driving a four-wheeler off a Walnut Mountain embankment, and Douglas Grover Kent, 70, of Ellijay, passed away from his injuries on April 6 when he lost control of his motorcycle on a curve on Fort Mountain.

Hensley said David Darby had just finished mortuary school, taken his national mortuary test and had begun his apprenticeship at the family’s Darby Funeral Home in Canton where he worked.

Fannin County emergency personnel also helped work the scene, Hensley reported.

The funeral service for Darby was Wednesday, April 17 at Sharp Mountain Baptist Church in Ball Ground.
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