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Toddler among 5 killed in Ga. head-on collision

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

LAGRANGE, Ga. — A driver ignoring a no-passing zone on a west Georgia highway crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with another car, killing himself and four others, including a 1-year-old boy, the Georgia State Patrol said on Saturday.

The deadly crash on Friday night in LaGrange, near the Alabama state line, injured two teenage passengers who were airlifted in critical condition to hospitals in Atlanta and Columbus, said Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright.

Witnesses said a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass was moving at a high speed when it crossed into the lane for oncoming traffic to pass another vehicle, though the roadway was marked as a no-passing zone. The Oldsmobile, driven by 28-year-old Willie Hooks of LaGrange, slammed into the front of a 1995 Pontiac GrandAm.

“Alcohol is suspected as a possible contributing factor,” Wright wrote in an email. “And blood was drawn from Mr. Hooks to determine a blood-alcohol content.”

The State Patrol said the driver of the Pontiac, 23-year-old Melanie Kay Lemmon of LaGrange, was killed along with three passengers in her car: Miranda L. Hurston, 37; Hurston's 16-year-old son, Tridarius Harrison; and her 1-year-old grandson, Quamauri C. Harrison.

Authorities said Hurston also had two teenage daughters who were in the Pontiac and survived the crash. Shaquavious S. Harrison, 18, and Jayvianna C. Hurston, 15, were both in critical condition Saturday morning, Wright said. Shaquavious Harrison is the mother of the baby boy who died.

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