April 4, 2013

State patrol official: Fatal three-way crash in Murray investigated

By Christopher Smith
christophersmith@daltoncitizen.com

— Georgia State Patrol officials are trying to figure out why a Chatsworth man suddenly drove into the wrong lane on Georgia 225 near downtown on Monday and hit two cars head-on, killing one woman and injuring another.

Barbara Hart, 70, of Dalton, and Connie Lou Rogers Griggs, 54, of Dalton, were taken to Murray Medical Center shortly after troopers responded to the wrecks, which occurred at 2:29 p.m. Griggs died Monday from her injuries.

Hart was being treated for injuries at Murray Medical on Wednesday, and Jerry Dwayne Bryson of Chatsworth, the driver of the car that hit the women’s cars, was being treated for injuries at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.

“What we know is that Mr. Bryson was driving south on the highway,” said Franka Young with the Georgia State Patrol’s Public Information Office. “Ms. Hart and Ms. Griggs were heading north when Mr. Bryson’s vehicle suddenly went into the wrong lane and hit them.”

Asked what caused Bryson to go into the wrong lane, Young said, “We don’t know yet.”

“How fast he was going and why he went into the other lane? It’s being investigated,” she said. “A test was given for alcohol at the scene, but the results are pending ... any criminal charges are also pending until the investigation is over.”

The extent of Hart’s and Bryson’s injuries could not be released, said officials with Murray Medical and Erlanger.