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Sims Street drag race turns deadly; injured passengers listed

One person was killed and six others were injured when two vehicles drag racing on Sims Street struck a third vehicle Saturday night about 10 p.m. Coroner Jim Smith has identified the dead man as Johnathan Maurice Byrd. Slideshow inside… Byrd, 29, who had addressees on Forsyth Street and Ice Street in Barnesville, pulled out of Owens Lane and was struck by two drag racing vehicles driven by unidentified cousins who were traveling at a very high rate of speed. Byrd died at the scene. Two others in his vehicle were injured. The racing cars were headed north on Sims Street. After striking Byrd’s vehicle, one ended up on the right shoulder of the road. The second flipped end over end several times, ejecting three occupants before landing in a creek off the right shoulder of the road on Sims Street. A total of six victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment. At 11:15 p.m. Byrd’s body was still in his vehicle which ended up facing on the right side of Sims Street. One of the racing vehicles was heavily damaged but upright. The crash drew a huge emergency response. There were as many as six state troopers and multiple BPD officers and Lamar deputies on the scene with dozens of firefighters and EMTs. Though many of those who survived had serious injuries, Byrd was the only known fatality as of midnight, according to the coroner. Cpl. K.P. Pope of the GSP Post in Forsyth is heading up the investigation. UPDATE: All three vehicles involved were Oldsmobile Cutlasses. Byrd’s was black. His passengers were Shamele Brown, 19, in the front seat and Jaberrion Foster, 23, in the back seat. Brown and Foster were treated at and released from Spalding Regional Medical Center in Griffin. The drag racing Cutlasses were white and beige. The beige vehicle was driven by Vontae Tyris Collier, 20. His passenger was Kendrick Rudolph Cheves, 21. The white vehicle was driven by Taurean Collier, 30. His passenger was Terrell Harden, 38. According to the GSP report, all these victims were taken to Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston but the hospital has no record of treating Cheves. Vontae Collier and Harden were treated there and released. Taurean Collier, the most seriously injured of the survivors, was treated and transferred to the Macon Medical Center.

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