Building destroyed after Thursday wreck

Published 11:43 am Friday, August 30, 2013


A Donalsonville man was seriously injured in a Thursday afternoon crash outside Brinson which resulted in two vehicles and a building catching fire, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The accident happened at approximately 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and Georgia Highway 310, commonly known as the location of the Brinson caution light, according to an accident report filed by State Trooper First Class David Fretwell of the GSP’s Colquitt, Ga., post.

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Tavoris Greg Williams, 24, of Donalsonville was driving east on U.S. 84 toward Bainbridge when another car driven by Marvin Beard, 51, of Leroy, N.Y., who was headed south on Georgia 310, attempted to cross over U.S. 84.

Beard failed to yield to oncoming traffic and Williams was unable to avoid colliding with the passenger side of Beard’s car, causing both vehicles to run off the highway.

Beard’s car hit a stop sign with its left side, causing it to flip upside down. Williams’ car pushed Beard’s car for approximately 15 more feet before stopping.

Beard’s vehicle then caught fire and completely burned, although he was able to escape with non-serious injuries. Williams’ car also caught fire; the flames from both vehicles spread to a wooden building on the southern side of the intersection.

Williams had a broken ankle and possible internal injuries, according to the report. He was transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital by an emergency medical helicopter.

Beard was taken to Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge for treatment, but was later arrested following his release.

The State Patrol has charged Beard with DUI, driving while license suspended/revoked, failure to yield, possession of marijuana (less than one ounce) and violation of the Georgia law which states that prescription drugs are to be kept in their original container.

The building destroyed in the fire, which has been used for a number of purposes over the years, was for a long time a small gas station and convenience store, said Milton Scott, 91, a Brinson resident who frequented the store in his youth.

Scott, who said he could remember when there was no pavement where the intersection is now, and Yates Springs Road was a dirt road wandering off to the south of the Old Bainbridge Road.

Later, a two-lane U.S. highway was built, and Wilmer Godby was the store’s proprietor. After the highway was four-laned, it was no longer practical to operate a gas station so close to the highway, said Scott, who purchased the building partially for sentimental value after it closed.

Since then, it has been used for multiple other businesses, as well as a church, although it was not occupied at the time of the accident.