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2 killed over July 4 holiday

COVINGTON - Newton County recorded two traffic fatalities within hours of each other over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Trooper B. Cuendet of Conyers Post 46 said just before 3 a.m. Sunday a crash involving a Pontiac Grand Prix and a motorcycle was reported near the intersection of Access Road at Old Oxford Road.

Pronounced dead was motorcycle driver David J. Nunnelley, 46, of 63 Wildwood Trail, Oxford.

Cuendet said the driver of the Pontiac struck Nunnelley.

"They were traveling in opposite directions," Cuendet said. "Speed was a factor in the crash."

A little more than two hours later, 78-year-old Robert J. Wilson of Moncks Corner, S.C., died when he lost control of his vehicle after being struck in the rear while driving on Interstate 20.

"He was struck in the rear by an individual from Pennsylvania," Cuendet said. "From the preliminary investigation, when Mr. Wilson was struck in the rear, it caused him to rotate and overturn."

Wilson was driving a Ford F-150 pickup and was struck by a Dodge van.

Cuendet said Wilson, who was traveling westbound, was actually struck about 200 feet inside the Walton County line, but the vehicle ended up in Newton County under the U.S. Highway 278 bridge, near exit 101.

The investigation into both crashes is ongoing and charges are pending. The results of toxicology tests have not been returned.

The state Department of Public Safety said 19 people were killed in Georgia traffic accidents during the July 4 holiday weekend.

The number was three less than the department had predicted.

There were 2,490 wrecks, far more than the 1,874 that had been forecast. There were 682 injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.