UPDATED: Forsyth motorcyclist dies in crash with minivan

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A 23-year-old Cumming man was killed overnight June 11 after his motorcycle struck a minivan head-on on Ga. 369 (Browns Bridge Road) in north Forsyth County.

Charles Griffin Hall, of Hickory Court in Cumming, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 23-year-old, Central High School graduate, was traveling westbound on Ga. 369 on a 2007 Kawasaki EX650A motorcycle and had just crossed over the Two Mile Creek Bridge when his motorcycle went into the eastbound lane and struck the on-coming minivan head-on, according to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. David Garrison.

The 2000 Mazda Wagon was being driven by Justin Timothy Harless, 28, of Gainesville.

Harless tried but was unable to avoid the impact, said Garrison.

Harless received some minor injuries and was treated at the scene. The driver of the motorcycle was wearing a helmet. The collision occurred at approximately 12:29 a.m.

Alcohol is not believed to be a contributing factor in the collision. The crash remains under investigation.

Humane Society of Forsyth County, where Hall worked posted a message on its Facebook page, saying Hall worked with them in fostering dogs who needed a home.

“[He] came to us from the Marine Corps after serving a tour in Afghanistan, he had to come home to care for his ailing grandmother,” the post said.

“He had a gift and a true passion working with some of our most difficult and hard to control canines, taking time to make sure they all received hands on training and were given time to really be a dog instead of being scared.”

Funeral services were held in Jasper, Ga. for Hall.

This marked the first motorcycle fatality in the county, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

There was one motorcycle fatality last year and two motorcycle fatalities in 2011.

Also in 2012, there were two motorcycle accidents with serious injuries.

Statewide, Georgia has experienced slightly fewer motorcyclist fatalities in 2012 than in 2011, according to data made available by the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The Governors Highway Safety Association projects motorcyclist fatalities rose nationwide by 9 percent in 2012.

The GHSA report, based on nine months of data, projects that Georgia saw a 5 percent increase in motorcyclist fatalities in 2012.

However, preliminary data compiled by the Georgia Department of Transportation for January 2012 through December of 2012 demonstrates otherwise.

The data show that the majority of motorcyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas and in the foothills of Georgia's mountains.

Over the two-year period, Fulton County saw the greatest number of motorcyclist fatalities statewide, and Dekalb County saw a significant increase in the number of motorcyclist fatalities from 2011 to 2012.

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