Barrow County

More signs, lights up after deadly Hwy. 316 crash near Athens claimed 3 lives

WINDER, Ga. — After three people were killed in a crash along Georgia 316 Thursday, the Barrow County sheriff says more signs and lighting are in place at the busy intersection.

Sheriff Jud Smith says the Georgia Department of Transportation and the construction contractor responded to his request to make the intersection safer – especially before this weekend’s University of Georgia football game.

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The intersection of highways 316 and 11 are in a construction zone, where work is underway to build an overpass with exit and entrance ramps.

The Georgia State Patrol says around 5 a.m. Thursday, a Dodge Dart heading south on Georgia 11 ran a red light. A tractor trailer truck going west on Georgia 316 crashed into the car, killing three people, including Julia Cardoca’s cousin.

“I picture his name, his face, it just hurts me,” he said. “It makes me cry because we were really close. It’s just really bad for the family right now.”


He says the driver of the car survived, but is paralyzed.

“It was just an accident,” he said. “He couldn’t see the red light for some reason.”

Jader Artola, 37, Gonzalo Balmaceda-Garcia, 48, and Norman Tremino-Vilchez, 17, were killed. The driver of the truck, and the driver of a Nissan Sentra that was also involved, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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Sheriff Smith says with the football game and parents weekend at UGA, Georgia 316 will have “overflowing traffic.”

He says he will have additional deputies, along with the Georgia State Patrol, at the intersection through the weekend.

On its Facebook page, the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office calls the construction an, “extended project, so we ask that drivers use extra caution when using this intersection. Be patient please.”


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