Man charged with DUI in fatal wreck
A one-car wreck Saturday night claimed the life of a Resaca man who was riding as a passenger in a Jeep whose driver was charged with driving under the influence, authorities said.
Leon Keith Lonas, 46, died at the scene just east of the Gilmer-Murray county line on Highway 282, said Coroner Jerry Hensley.
The driver, John Thomas Green, 46, of Ellijay, was taken by life flight to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. An Erlanger spokeswoman said Tuesday Green is in “fair” condition.
Green is charged with first degree homicide by vehicle, DUI, traveling too fast for conditions and failure to maintain lane, according to a Georgia State Patrol crash report. He was driving a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara.
“(The Jeep) was traveling west on State Route 282 negotiating a curve to the left ... (and) failed to maintain its lane and traveled off the north side of (282),” Trooper First Class Andrew Phillips stated in the report.
“(The Jeep) traveled down an embankment and struck a culvert with its front end, (and) then overturned and struck a tree with its passenger side door. The area of impact was off the north side of (282). (The Jeep) came to a final rest at the area of impact with the tree.”
The report said the two were traveling westbound. Both men were trapped in the jeep and had to be extricated with the jaws of life, according to the report.
A sheriff’s office Facebook entry posted at 7:17 p.m. Saturday noted the highway would likely be shut down around two hours and advised motorists to take alternate routes.