3 Deaths in Coweta

Motorcycle fatalities on the rise in Georgia

by Alex McRae

The most recent data released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration shows an increase in motorcycle deaths statewide — including deaths related to accidents that occurred in Coweta County.

In early 2013, GHSA asked its member state highway safety offices to provide their preliminary motorcyclist fatality counts for 2012, as they had done the prior three years. All 50 states and the District of Columbia supplied data. Some states suggested why their numbers had increased or decreased.

Data was released showing individual statistics for states. During the period surveyed, three motorcycle deaths were reported in Coweta County:

• Off-duty Fulton County firefighter James Randall Morgan of Hogansville died April 13, 2012. He was pronounced dead at the scene on J.D. Walton Road in Coweta County after losing control of his motorcycle and hitting a tree.

• Don Allen Duncan of Newnan died at the scene of a motorcycle accident on Aug. 2, 2012. The accident occurred on Old Corinth Road near Midland Drive.

• Robb Holzchuh of Sharpsburg died on Oct. 21, 2011, in a head-on collision with a vehicle on U.S. Highway 29 at the Weldon Road intersection in north Coweta.

Motorcyclist deaths increased approximately 9 percent in 2012, to more than 5,000 lives lost, according to the report. This is greater than the overall traffic fatality increase projected by the federal government and would be the 14th out of the last 15 years in which motorcyclist deaths increased. Notably, this level of deaths closes in on an all-time high, and motorcyclists remain one of the few roadway user groups where no progress can be shown over the last decade.

The report points out that the economy is expected to contribute to more motorcyclist fatalities. With people having more disposable income, more motorcycles will be purchased. At the same time, with the relative high price of gasoline, more people will choose motorcycles to save fuel costs.

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