Three persons who lost their lives in separate traffic mishaps on roadways in McDuffie County last week were not wearing seat belts, authorities say.
Those wrecks also left at least one person seriously injured and in an Augusta hospital.
The latest fatal wreck claimed the life of a 59-year-old doctor.
Deputy Coroner Sandy Yelton identified the victim as Robert John Bussey, of the 3000 block of Wire Road, Dearing.
Dr. Bussey received critical injuries after being thrown from his SUV about 7 a.m. last Saturday and later died at Doctors Hospital at 8:02 a.m. An autopsy has been performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta to determine the exact cause of death. Results still are pending.
He received medical attention from personnel with the McDuffie County Emergency Medical Services and firefighters/first responders with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services.
The single-vehicle crash occurred near the intersection of Old Milledgeville and Pylant Crossing roads not far from the Warren County line.
Senior Trooper John Freeman of the Georgia State Patrol said Dr. Bussey was traveling east in a Ford Escape and lost control while rounding a curve. The SUV traveled 218 feet along the north shoulder of the roadway before turning over several times. Dr. Bussey, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown out the driver's side window and into the roadway, Trooper Freeman said.
In an unrelated crash, which occurred last Friday at the intersection of Old Milledgeville and Mount Pleasant roads, a well-known woman from McDuffie County was apparently killed instantly in a two-car crash.
McDuffie County Coroner Rhusha Mack identified the woman as 88-year-old Mary Rebie Purvis, of the 3000 block of Mount Pleasant Road, Thomson. Mrs. Purvis, a widow, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision that happened shortly before 10 a.m.
Mrs. Purvis was a front-seat passenger in a Chevrolet Impala driven by her son, Wilbur Purvis, 64, also of Mount Pleasant Road, Thomson. Mr. Purvis and a rear-seat passenger in his car, Kim Mullinex, of Thomson, were both injured.
After being treated initially at the scene, they were taken by ambulances to Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Mr. Purvis, who was placed in intensive care, received several broken ribs and other injuries.
The driver of the other car, a Chevrolet Malibu Classic, Rebecca Haire, of Dearing, also was injured and taken to MCG. She was treated and released last Friday afternoon.
Trooper Freeman, who was assisted in the fatal crash by Sgt. Ritchie Howard, said charges are pending against Ms. Haire, who ran a stop sign at Old Milledgeville Road before colliding with Mr. Purvis' car.
Troopers with the state patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) were called to follow-up on the investigation of the fatal mishap.
Mr. Purvis and his mother, a retired employee of Thomson Company, along with Ms. Mullinex, were en route to buy groceries, a close friend of the family said. The friend said it was something the Purvis's did every Friday morning.
A third person, meanwhile, was killed on Saturday, June 12 in a pickup truck crash on U.S. Highway 221 near Dearing. He was identified as Derameuse Hayes, 26, of the 5300 block of Iron Hill Road.
A news story concerning that fatal wreck appeared on the front page of last week's edition.