published Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Holiday crashes kill 14 people — and more Chattanooga region news

Holiday crashes kill 14 people

ATLANTA — The Georgia State Patrol said traffic accidents during the Labor Day holiday travel period resulted in 14 deaths across the state.

Authorities said state troopers arrested more than 225 drivers on charges of driving under the influence.

State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said troopers were called to investigate 443 of the traffic crashes, which resulted in 226 injuries. State troopers also investigated crashes involving 10 of the 14 fatalities reported during the period.

The 78-hour period began Friday at 6 p.m. and ended Monday night.


Meningitis death not on record

NASHVILLE — One of the Tennessee victims of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak may not have been recorded among the official death records.

The Tennessean reported that federal court filings show Gokulbhai Patel, of Goodlettsville, died Jan. 13. He had received spinal injections at the St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center in Nashville. But records from the outbreak kept by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show no deaths in January.

The outbreak is blamed on contaminated steroids from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

The official death count in Tennessee is 15, with 153 patients sickened. Nationwide, 63 deaths have been recorded with 749 patients sickened.


Worker falls, dies in water tower

IRONDALE, Ala. — Authorities say a 24-year-old painter plunged to his death while working inside a water tower in Irondale.

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office said Mike Isaac Alvarenga Carlos, of Texas, was pronounced dead on the scene Sunday morning.

Deputy coroner Phillip Russell said the worker, originally from El Salvador, was climbing the ladder inside the tank that leads to the top when it is believed he slipped and fell. The water inside the tank had been drained for maintenance.

Al.com reported co-workers found Carlos as they prepared to climb the interior ladder.


Three men die in state waters

SPARTA, Tenn. — Three men have died in separate incidents on Tennessee waterways over the Labor Day weekend.

Authorities said Abdulah Amsabil, 22, of Nashville, died Monday while swimming at Burgess Falls State Park near the bottom of the main falls. Police said he went under while swimming with family members and never resurfaced. Divers recovered his body.

A few hours later, Smyrna High School senior Matthew Grissom, 18, drowned while swimming near Walter Hill Dam in Rutherford County.

Earlier Monday, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials recovered the body Harvie C. Butler, 39, of La Vergne, from J. Percy Priest Lake. He died Sunday after a boating accident.

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