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Holiday Weekend Traffic Accidents Claim 19 Lives, One Drowning at Lake Lanier

Georgia State Patrol investigated more than 300 crashes and at least one drowning at Lake Lanier.

Nineteen people died in traffic-related accidents across the state over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

The Georgia State Patrol investigated 313 accidents from 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1, through midnight on July 4; 230 of them were injuries and 14 deaths. The other five fatalities were reported by other law enforcement agencies.

According to Robin Stone with GSP Post 37 in Cumming, one of the fatalities occurred on Highway 53 and Young Place in Dawson County at about 10:35 p.m., Saturday, July 2.

GSP spokesperson, Lt. Paul Coster said, Michael Martinez, 27, of Dawsonville was killed in the head-on collision and that the accident is under investigation.

Last year, the Georgia Department of Transportation's Crash Reporting Unit counted 1,829 traffic crashes, 834 injuries and 11 traffic deaths.

On Sunday, July 3, a 23-year-old Gainesville man drowned at Van Pugh Park located on the southeast end of Lake Lanier in Flowery Branch.

"He was in the water with his father and friends when he went under sometime after 4 p.m.," said Rick Lavender, spokesperson with the GA Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "They pulled him out – he was later pronounced dead at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville."

His name has not been released by authorities.

There were also several boating-related incidents, including five BUI's, eight boating accidents, seven injuries from those accidents and one involving alcohol, said Lavender.

This article first appeared on Cumming Patch and Johns Creek Patch.

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