1 killed, 1 critical after Smokey Road wreck

by Sarah Fay Campbell

A Heard County teen was killed and three Coweta teens injured in a single-vehicle crash on Smokey Road around 3 a.m. Saturday.

A 1998 Toyota 4-Runner driven by 17-year-old Joseph Brian Shelnutt traveled off and back onto the roadway several times before overturning, according to the GSP. Shelnutt and his front passenger, 16-year-old Austin Walker Pope of Franklin, were ejected from the vehicle and Pope was killed.

GSP Trooper Ross Buchan said alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash, and toxicology reports are pending. Neither teen was wearing a seatbelt.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Todd Moore of the Coweta County Fire Department, Shelnutt was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition with “multi-system trauma.”

A spokesperson for Atlanta Medical Center said Saturday afternoon that she could not release information on Shelnutt’s condition because he is a minor. However, the Heard Citizen reported Saturday afternoon that Shelnutt was in serious condition. Friends and family were posting on Twitter Saturday afternoon with the hashtag #prayforjoey .

Two 17-year-olds in the back of the vehicle, Braxton Kexavier Tucker of Grantville and Andrew Daryl Mask of Newnan, were also transported to AMC, and both were discharged from the hospital Saturday afternoon.

Pope was a junior at Heard County High School, according to the Heard Citizen. A candlelight vigil at Prospect Church was planned by Pope's classmates for Saturday evening.

The accident occurred on Smokey Road near Country Lane.



More Local

Coco's Cupboard

Partnership works to find service dogs for veterans

Dog trainers Suzanne Aaron and Tara Cotton saw many clients who had dogs they just couldn’t handle. They would help the owners find do ... Read More


250 students affected

Homelessness ‘vicious cycle that’s going to continue’

The economy has bounced back from the lows of a few years ago. The housing market is healthy, and the jobless rate has improved. But, for so ... Read More


Annual Sunrise on the Square Road Race a success

The annual Sunrise on the Square included ideal weather and a first-time winner who actually pushed his baby in a stroller. The race, hosted ... Read More


HealthSouth facility scheduled to open Dec. 2

Progress for HealthSouth’s new facility is on track for a Dec. 2 opening, which will add to the town’s growing collection of hea ... Read More


Subsidized medical center proposed for Senoia

Palmetto Health Council is applying for a grant to bring a subsidized medical clinic to Coweta, proposed for the Senoia area. The non-profit ... Read More

Economic Impact

Ports hit new record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 3 million 20-foot equivalent container units in fiscal year 2014 – and set a new record fo ... Read More