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Posted: May 5, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Saturday accident victim identified

4 injured in Ga. Highway 81 wreck; woman runs into house

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Johnny Durden

The man killed on Washington Street Saturday afternoon has been identified as 53-year-old Johnny Durden, a well loved fixture in the neighborhood.

According to a family member, Durden was mentally challenged and battling cancer. He was not technically supposed to be out of his mother’s home that day but had left before anyone could stop him. He was attempting to cross the street when he was struck by a car. The impact threw him in the air and he was struck by the vehicle a second time then dragged.

"He was well-known in the area," said the family member who wished to remain anonymous. "He was a very kind-hearted person. There’s not a soul on that street that didn’t know him. I just feel like everyone needs to know how wonderful Johnny was."

This was the third time that Durden had been struck by a car. The first time he was around 2-years-old and the second time was approximately four years ago.

4 injured in wreck

Two adults and two children were injured Tuesday morning when their vehicle was struck on Ga. Highway 81 north.

According to Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jeremiah Slayton, a Ford Explorer was heading north on 81 and a Town and Country van was traveling south. The Explorer reportedly traveled into the south lane of the highway striking the van head-on in a side-swipe fashion. The Explorer came to rest on the west shoulder, partially in the roadway and the van stopped on the west shoulder in the yard of a mobile home park.

Each vehicle had two occupants, a driver and a small child. One vehicle was carrying a 1-year-old and the other had a 3-year-old child inside. The driver of the van was transported to Atlanta Medical Center by ground ambulance, though Slayton pointed out that had the weather been more agreeable, she would have been transported by life flight. Her injuries were described as "serious" and doctors were checking for internal or head injuries. According to Slayton, a family member said that she had a broken arm as well.

The driver of the Explorer and both children were transported by ambulance to Walton Medical Center. The driver had visible injuries according to Slayton while the children suffered only minor injuries, including marks on one from the car seat.

Woman rams into home

Around 7 p.m. Sunday night deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office were called to a home on Breedlove Lane. When they arrived they found a woman had run off the roadway and struck the home.

The woman, identified as Carla Angalee Presley, had allegedly struck the front porch of the home causing damage and injuring herself only slightly. According to witnesses, an altercation had ensued after the incident and the families inside the home were forced to restrain her until law enforcement could arrive. Further investigation showed that Presley reportedly hit the home intentionally.

She was arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center where she was charged with simple battery, cruelty to children in the second degree and criminal trespass.

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