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Newton firefighter dies in wreck
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Newton County Firefighter Brad Michael Eavenson died in a motor vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 278 at Dixie Road at approximately 1 a.m. Friday, according to a press release from Newton County Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien.

Eavenson, 31, started with the Newton County Fire Department Oct. 1, 2007, after being a member of the fire service for many years prior.

Late Thursday evening and early Friday morning he was driving his 2004 Dodge 2500 pickup truck on Highway 278 at Dixie Road when the vehicle left the roadway, according to the Georgia State Patrol. The truck traveled down an embankment and struck a rock wall, where GSP said Eavenson was ejected from the vehicle. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The accident was not believed to be weather-related.

"... He he has touched many hearts while helping the citizens and guests of Newton County and building lifelong memories with his friends and work family," O’Brien said in the press release.

From Elberton, Eavenson had a passion for teaching others skills in rope and technical rescue, and was respected for these disciplines across Georgia.

"Brad has impacted many members of this organization as he helped mold our department into a more professional fire service, and his passing will be a major loss for Newton County and the fire service of Georgia," O’Brien said in the release.

Friday night, the firefighters on Eavenson’s shift were gathered at the Newton County Fire Service Administration for dinner and fellowship through donations from firefighters and their families.

"We are all deeply saddened by the loss of this firefighter - the whole Newton County family," Newton County Chairman Keith Ellis said. "Certainly we feel for his family in Elberton."

Visitation will be Sunday from 5-8 p.m. at Berry’s Funeral Home in Elberton. The funeral will be Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Elberton.