Ricky Maddron, an “outstanding young man” was killed on his way to work Monday on Highway 515.
[Click here to read our editorial on the need for Highway 515 dangers to be addressed.]
Hwy. 515 was shut down for five hours Monday morning following an early morning wreck that killed Ricky Lee Maddron, 34, of Ellijay. This marks the second fatal wreck along the Pickens County stretch of the highway this month.
Maddron was killed when his 2010 Chevy Impala crashed into a concrete truck on Hwy. 515 around 5:24 a.m. Maddron was driving south along the highway. Georgia State Patrol authorities say speed was likely a factor in the accident.
Maddron hit a concrete pump truck owned by Brundage Bone Concrete Pumping out of Forest Park. The driver of the concrete truck was turning left onto Hwy. 515 from Appalachian Court when the accident occurred. The driver was not injured and has not been cited in the accident.
There is no red light, only a stop sign, on the side road entering the highway.
“The reconstruction team is involved in the investigation and they are now in the process of determining how fast (Maddron) was going,” said GSP Sgt. Seth Thompson. “There was no walking away from that accident. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one [vehicle] that torn up.”
Sgt. Thompson said the concrete truck’s steel frame “didn’t give a bit.”
A wreck on June 5th at Hwy. 515 and A.W. Lawson Boulevard took the life of Barbara Hitt, who died of injuries four days after the accident.
See also Wrecks on Highway 515 up 53 percent from June 18, edition
Last week the Progress reported that wrecks on Hwy. 515 were up 53 percent from the previous year. According to GSP Post Commander Tim Nichols, his office investigated 72 crashes on Hwy. 515 from January 1 to June 12th of this year. That figure does not include crashes at major intersections like those at Hwy. 53 or Hwy. 108, he said.
Nichols cited a steady increase in traffic volume and motorists who follow too closely as factors for the spike in the number of accidents. He also said speeding is a constant problem along the four-lane, with many drivers traveling at speeds higher than the posted limit, which is 55 mph from Hwy. 108 to the Philadelphia Road intersection and 65 mph from Philadelphia Road north past the Gilmer County line.
Maddron’s father-in-law, Randy Maynard, told the Ellijay Times Courier that he was “an outstanding young man.”
“Ricky loved anything outside,” he said. “He liked to hunt and fish and camp, and he loved my daughter Rebekah. They knew each other since fifth grade, I believe, and reconnected after some years. Theirs was an absolutely pure love, they just loved and adored each other, and Ricky loved his boys.”
Maynard said Maddron had an “incredible” work ethic, and was on his way to his job in the Atlanta area when the collision occurred. Maddron was in the glass business, installing glass in high-rise office buildings, on military bases and elsewhere.
Randy Dean told the Ellijay Times Courier he was Maddron’s step father-in-law, but loved the couple like they were his own.
“They were the sweetest couple together,” he said. “They were deeply in love, just two really happy people. They have two sons, Ricky’s son Levi, 14, and Colton, 8, they had together.”