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UPDATED: Fatal wreck on Highway 515

fatal on 515

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.”

The Progress had an article last week on the sharp increase on wrecks on the fourlane.


Lindsey Rose
+1 #11 Lindsey Rose 2015-06-28 09:59
I do. I feel horrible. I just don't understandhow pepeople are bblaming the truck driver knowing the details. Its horrible and I can promise you its also a very tough situation being involved in anything like that. I am so sorry for your loss beyond words. Just know he is also.
+3 #12 Tina 2015-06-28 17:18
My prayers are with the family and friends of the young man who was killed as as the driver of concrete truck. We necer know what will happen. We always need to be mindful of our words and how they can affect those grieving.
brandon maynard
-3 #13 brandon maynard 2015-06-30 07:48
The GSP report has been released and the reason people are blaming the truck driver (as somebody mentioned in the comments) is because according to the official report he FAILED TO GIVE RIGHT OF WAY.
[Editor’s Note: We have checked back with the GSP. The failure to give right of way was listed as one of the contributing factors. But “contributing factors” are not a charge or citation. The technical investigation by the GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team will take several weeks. If any charges are brought, it would only be after this investigation is completed.]
Slow Down!!
+2 #14 Slow Down!! 2015-06-30 14:12
Progress Staff,

How many of the at fault drivers reside in Pickens County? That might explain the lack of knowledge for the reduced speed limit signs so many of the tourist folks traveling thru Pickens seem to miss them.

I would like to see the state put some type of flashing lights on the speed limit signs where it reduces from 65 to 55 and also perhaps we need some rumble strips placed on the roads as well.

Let's be brutally honest for a've got to be a moron if you've lived in Pickens County for any length of time and you speed down 515 South just North of Hwy. 108!!
+4 #15 Guest 2015-07-03 17:32
I was 2nd person at the wreck it was horrible but god knows me and another guy tried to get him out but could not get door open the solder from earlyer comment also came up and helped I drive this rd everyday the driver of the truck wa hit in the back and was no skid marks this is over a hill some what but not a blind hill he came across 5 lanes and was going stright and hit from the back that truck didnot just fly out in front of him ( makes u thank driver may fell asleep?) he should have seen him just a thought
-2 #16 Guest 2015-07-20 20:33
I totally agree that there has to be something that makes people notice the speed limit changes. On the other hand, if Ricky was speeding, im sure he wasn't going more that 5 miles over the posted limit of 65mph. It goes down to 55mph just past that intersection. And regardless of how fast Ricky was going, doesn't give concrete truck the right to just turn out in front of him. The concrete truck should have stayed in the inside lane when he turned left. That is the law. Instead, he turned into the outside lane therefore hitting my friend, Ricky. I think the concrete truck driver should be charged with vehicular manslaughter!

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