Davis chosen to sculpt MLK statue at Capitol (June 29, 2015)
UPDATE: ATLANTA - The artist selected to sculpt a Martin Luther King Jr. statue for the Georgia Capitol grounds died Sunday after a weekend crash involved a suspected drunk driver, according to the Henry County Coroner. Andy Davis was 53.
Davis was pronounced brain dead Sunday at 9:50 p.m., according to Henry County Coroner Donald Cleveland. He said his office was informed of Davis' death shortly after on Sunday by Grady Memorial Hospital, where Davis was treated following the early Saturday morning crash.
The Georgia State Patrol has said Davis was on his motorcycle early Saturday in Henry County when he was rear-ended by a pickup truck.
The 20-year-old driver, Corey Sease, has been charged with driving under the influence. Sease will also be charged with first degree vehicular homicide.
A Georgia State Patrol spokeswoman didn't immediately have further detail Monday morning.
Davis' family issued a statement Sunday saying doctors at Grady were still trying to determine whether he had any brain activity and thanked people for their prayers and encouragement."Last night, Dad passed on to his next great adventure. He was so brave - he waited on us to tell him it was OK to go. We surrounded him with love, and let him know that we will carry on his legacy; He is always with us now.
"Andy was determined to help others, in fact, he went out of his way to help anyone from a little bird on the street with a broken wing, to a single mom who was homeless and hungry, giving them food for her and her baby.He has always cared for the well being of those less fortunate. Now, Andy gets to do that still, because his request to donate his organs to give the gift of life to others has been granted. His final sculpture is one we would never have imagined-That will be living, breathing, and seeing in someone's body.
"We have lost a giant today, but his Spirit, his Legacy, and his Big Blue Eyes will live on in our hearts and minds for years to come."
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last month announced Davis's commissioning for the King statue. In the statement announcing the choice, Deal said the King statue was a "long overdue honor" for the civil rights leader.
"I am confident that Andy Davis' past works, including a statue of Ray Charles in the singer's hometown of Albany, have prepared him well for this historic project," Deal said.
MCDONOUGH - Sculptor Andy Davis, who created a sculpture for the Light House Village in Conyers and was recently tapped to create a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the Capitol grounds, was critically injured in an accident early Saturday morning.
According to Georgia State Patrol and reports in WSB and Henry Herald, Davis was riding a motorcycle around 12:35 a.m. near the intersection of Jodeco Road and the I-75 ramp and was stopped at the traffic light in the left eastbound lane of Jodeco Road.
A black Toyota pickup truck driven by Corey Ashton Sease, 20, was also traveling in the left eastbound lane of Jodeco Road and struck Davis' motorcycle from behind. Davis was ejected from the motorcycle.
Sease was charged with DUI, following too closely, and possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce.
Davis, 53, was air-lifted and hospitalized at Grady Memorial reportedly with skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries.
He was not officially deceased as of 9 p.m. Saturday. Family and friends say his organs will be donated - Davis was clear with them about his status as an organ donor - and he is being kept on life support until the process is completed. However, he was described as "essentially deceased."
His mother, local artist Diane Davis, said her son lived by the adage, "Whatever bad happens, some good will come out of it." Lives will be saved and transformed with her son's organs, she pointed out. Community members are also helping to organize for a foundation to provide scholarships for art students in her son's name.
Andy Davis, a McDonough resident, and his wife of 31 years, Gerri, have two adult children, Alex and Stephanie.
Davis began his career as a full-time sculptor in 1999. His works include music legend Ray Charles, the Georgia Police Memorial, Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, Griffin County founder Gen. Lawrence Griffin and Patrick Henry. His studio, the Andy Davis Studio in the Hood Street Arts Center, is located in McDonough.
Georgia State Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is conducting a follow-up investigation of the crash. Check back later for more details.