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Man badly injured in Hwy. 41 crash identified

A young man was severely injured when he lost control of his vehicle on Hwy. 41 South near its intersection with Fredonia Church Road and was hit by a tractor-trailer rig just before noon Friday. The victim was driving a green Saturn Ion. A worn dealer sticker noted the car was bought at a Saturn dealer in Plano, Texas. The Saturn was southbound on Hwy. 41 just east of the Fredonia Church intersection when, according to witnesses, the driver crossed the centerline into the northbound lane where it was struck by a ConWay tractor trailer rig that was headed north. The truck driver was not injured. The impact knocked the Ion into a field on the north side of the highway. Firefighters, deputies and other emergency personnel worked frantically to cut the victim from the Ion. A medical evacuation helicopter landed in a field adjacent to the highway to transport the victim. At 1 p.m. medics were working furiously on the man in an ambulance but he had not yet been loaded onto the chopper. The Ion, which bore a Lamar County tag, was demolished. Traffic in the area was snarled. UPDATE: The victim was alive when the chopper departed for the trauma center. His condition was extremely critical, however. UPDATE 2: The Herald Gazette has identified the victim as James Hawkins, known as ‘Tickle’. He is at the Medical Center in Macon in critical but stable condition with contusions to the brain. Hawkins works at Mid Georgia Service Center in Forsyth. He graduated from LCHS and lives in Barnesville. He reportedly is a volunteer firefighter in Monroe County. He is married to Airica Lauren Hawkins and they have a young child.

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