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Head-on collision kills one, injures two more on US 441

July 31, 2020 - 00:00
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    The 2012 Toyota Highlander was driven by Robert Dukes, husband of Violet Dukes, who died in the accident. CONTRIBUTED/Sheriff Howard Sills

An Eatonton woman lost her life in a tragic accident on Madison Highway/U.S. Hwy. 441 Monday afternoon, July 27, and two others are hospitalized, authorities say.

Violet Kathryn Dukes, 83, of Long Shoals Avenue, Eatonton, died from injuries sustained in a head-on collision at 3 p.m. on U.S. Hwy. 441 North at Bethel Church Road.

Mrs. Dukes was the passenger in a 2012 Toyota Highlander driven by her husband, Robert Lewis Dukes, 84. Mr. Dukes was immediately taken by ambulance to Piedmont Athens Regional hospital for treatment of injuries. On Tuesday, he remained hospitalized but was conversing with family members and deputies, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said.

The driver of the other vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, was Rosetta Samantha Harris, 48, also of Eatonton. Harris was flown by medical helicopter to Navicent Health Care, Macon hospital. Sills said she underwent surgery, and on Tuesday, she was in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, according to family members.

The sheriff said the Dukes were traveling on Hwy. 441 returning from a doctor’s appointment in Atlanta, and Mr. Dukes was in the process of turning left onto Bethel Church Road, which was their normal route home.

“He was turning and didn’t see the northbound car, and it was a fullfrontal impact on the car,” Sills said.

“Traffic is unbelievable right there, and I was shocked by how many cars are turning onto Bethel Church Road. It is unbelievable the amount of traffic,” he added.

An autopsy is being done to determine the exact cause of death, so no funeral arrangements were available as of the Lake Oconee News press time.