2 dead in Dillard accident

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Teen driver clocked at 98 mph shortly before fatal crash

  • Megan Broome/The Clayton Tribune. A fatal accident in Dillard on Monday, Dec. 30 closed down traffic on Highway 441 for several hours as emergency personnel worked the scene. Two women were killed and one teenager airlifted following the high-speed crash.
    Megan Broome/The Clayton Tribune. A fatal accident in Dillard on Monday, Dec. 30 closed down traffic on Highway 441 for several hours as emergency personnel worked the scene. Two women were killed and one teenager airlifted following the high-speed crash.
  • Megan Broome/The Clayton Tribune. Two women were killed and one teenager airlifted following a high-speed crash in Dillard Monday. Dec. 30.
    Megan Broome/The Clayton Tribune. Two women were killed and one teenager airlifted following a high-speed crash in Dillard Monday. Dec. 30.
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DILLARD— A fatal, high-speed crash in Dillard resulted in the death of two women and one teenager being airlifted and faced with multiple charges following a wreck on SR 441 near Cardinal Street on Monday, December 30.

Donna Verlyn Mcconnell, 60, of Clayton and Lorie Jeanne Smathers, 52, of Otto (N.C.) had to be extricated from a 2016 maroon Chevrolet Trax after it was struck by a 2015 white Hyundai Sonata driven by Sergio Garcia, 19, of Buford, according to a statement provided by CPL John Getty, assistant post commander for Post 7 in Toccoa.

“Both Mcconnell and Smathers died on scene due to injuries sustained in the crash,” according to Getty.

Garcia “was traveling south on SR 441 at a high rate of speed. A Dillard Police Officer checked Garcia’s speed to be 98 mph just prior to the crash. The front of the Hyundai struck the rear of a maroon 2016 Chevrolet Trax,” Getty reported. “After impact, both vehicles came to uncontrolled final rest on the roadway." 

Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Toccoa was notified of the crash at approximately 4:55 p.m.

Garcia has been charged with speeding, following too closely, reckless, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), open container, and two counts of Homicide by vehicle in the first degree.

He was airlifted to Grady Medical Center in Atlanta due to medical conditions.

“TFC John Crawford from Post 7 Toccoa is the lead Trooper investigating this crash and is being assisted by our agencies Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) member TFC Steve Thompson,” according to Getty.

Garcia had not been booked into the Rabun County Detention Center at press time.