A three-vehicle accident involving a series of collisions occurred on Saturday, Sept. 10, just before 5 p.m., in the vicinity of Country Meadows community, on Georgia Road. Ricardo Mendoza-Mendoza from Franklin was traveling North in a 2004 Ford SUV. An Ingles 2001 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Albert Edward Davis of Waynesville, was traveling south in the left lane. Edwin Patton Hendricks from Demorest, Ga., was driving a 2016 Toyota, was traveling South in the right lane attempting to pass the Ingles truck. Mendoza then lost control and crossed over the center turning lane toward southbound traffic. Davis then swerved to the left into the center turning lane to avoid a collision, but was struck by Mendoza head on. After impact, Mendoza’s vehicle crossed over both southbound lanes and ran off the road to the left onto the southbound shoulder and came to rest. Following impact, Davis traveled back into the southbound lanes on U.S. 23 and was struck by Hendricks’s Toyota, attempting to swerve to avoid the collision. After a second impact, Davis and Hendricks’s vehicles came to rest against each other and caught on fire in the southbound lanes.
Hendricks was transported to Angel Medical Center. Mendoza and a passenger, Jose Hector Mendoza de Los Santos were transported to Northeast Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. Mendoza was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, driving while license revoked, driving left of center, open alcohol containers, and seatbelt violation.
The estimated damage to the Ingles truck at the time of the accident was $80,000. Trooper B.R. Padgett was the investigating officer. Franklin Police Department and Macon County Sheriff Department also responded. Macon County Emergency personnel that responded included Macon County Fire Service, Clarks Chapel Fire Department with assistance from Otto and Clarks Chapel Fire departments.