Woman seriously injured in forceful crash

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A young woman from Bainbridge is recovering from serious injuries she received in a forceful two-car crash early Sunday morning, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The collision occurred at 2 a.m. Sunday on Georgia 253 North, near the border between Decatur and Baker counties.

Santarious Romero Nelson, 18, of Newton was traveling north when his vehicle drifted across the highway, off the roadway’s west shoulder, said State Trooper 1st Class Walt Landrum of the GSP’s Colquitt post. Nelson lost control of his car, and it made at least one complete rotation as it traveled back onto the highway’s southbound lane, into the path of oncoming car driven by 21-year-old Larsen E. Wilkinson of Bainbridge, TFC Landrum said.

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The front end of Wilkinson’s car struck the front passenger side of Nelson’s car, causing severe damage to both cars. The engine of Nelson’s car was thrown clear by the impact of the crash and caught fire as it landed across the highway.

Wilkinson was immediately taken by ambulance to Tallahassee (Fla.) Memorial Hospital, according to Landrum. Her uncle, Haisten Wilkinson of Bainbridge, said she was still being treated at the hospital on Tuesday.

Larsen, a Bainbridge High School alumnus who is attending North Georgia’s Young Harris College on a tennis scholarship, is recovering from surgery related to two broken legs she suffered in the crash, according to her uncle.

Nelson suffered only minor injuries and declined emergency care at the scene, Landrum said. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Several law enforcement and emergency response agencies from Baker, Miller and Decatur counties responded to the accident, including Decatur County Sheriff’s deputies, the Georgia State Patrol and Decatur County Fire and Rescue.

Nelson was cited with failure to maintain lane, Landrum said.

Marijuana at school

A Bainbridge High School student was arrested on Feb. 5 when she was found with a number of bags of marijuana on school property.

School Resource Officer Chief Paul Gordon said he received reliable information that Amber Latrelle Butler, 17, of 141 Alice Lane in Attapulgus, was in possession of the drugs while at school. Butler was taken out of class by Gordon and administrators and found with a number of bags containing marijuana. Butler was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

Chief Gordon said Butler was also suspended from school due to violating school board policies and must go before a tribunal, which will decide any further academic punishment.

Night club owner recovers firearm

The owner of LaCount, a business rented out for private parties, recovered a firearm from one of the people attempting to enter his establishment on Feb. 6.

At approximately 11 p.m., the owner of the business, Johnny LaCount, gave Bainbridge Public Safety Officers a 22 Caliber handgun that he confiscated from a male trying to enter the building. Lacount told police he had been frisking everyone who entered, checking for weapons. He said he felt the pistol in the waistband of a suspect and immediately took it from him. The male asked for the weapon back and left on foot when Lacount refused, telling him that he was calling police. The gun was loaded.

Police have had to respond to a number of fights occurring at the building, located at 2550 Old Whigham Road in Bainbridge, in recent months.

GSP update

Georgia State Patrol troopers from the Colquitt post investigated nine traffic crashes during the month of January in Decatur County.

Sgt. 1st Class Eddie Edwards said the traffic crashes resulted in 12 injuries. Sgt. Edwards said troopers issued 310 traffic citations in the county during the month including 14 arrests for DUI, 76 citations for speeding, 62 seat belt violations and 44 child restraint violations. Troopers also issued 281 warnings.