Baldwin County records first two traffic fatalities of 2022


Baldwin County averaged 11 traffic fatalities per year between 2015–2019, according to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety database.

January 2022 already has produced two, putting the county on pace for an above average year.

The first traffic fatality occurred on the afternoon of Jan. 4, as a man lost control of his Yamaha sports bike on Mt. Pleasant Church Road near its intersection with Colony Farm Road in southwest Baldwin County. The driver was identified as Joseph Andrew Blizard, 34. Blizard passed away 11 days later from his injuries at an area hospital.

According to the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office accident report: "(The bike) was traveling south on Mount Pleasant Church Road near the intersection of Colony Farm Road. (Blizard) lost control of the (bike), which caused (the bike) to crash onto its side. When (the bike) crashed, (Blizard) was ejected. (Blizard) had several road rash burns all over his body as well as severe lacerations to his head." 

The second traffic fatality, meanwhile, occurred around on Jan. 20 around 6:50 in the morning. Maggie Gracie Ann Bryson, 23, listed with a Fayetteville address, was listed as the deceased. Bryson's Toyota Yaris was sitting in the northbound lane on North Columbia Street at the Log Cabin Road red light when a big rig "struck the rear of (the Yaris)," according to the Georgia State Patrol accident report. "This impact caused (the Yaris) to become trapped under the front of (the big rig) and both vehicles traveled through the intersection in a northeastern direction," added the accident report.

The Yaris ultimately struck a fire hydrant and several bushes/shrubs before entering the parking lot of the Jet Foods Store.

The driver of the big rig, identified as 24-year-old Rashad Lashore of Dekalb County, later relayed to troopers that "he fell asleep while driving." 

Bryson passed away due to complications of the crash two days later. Lashore initially was charged with two traffic citations – following too closely and "fatigued driving." Following the death, however, added was a charge of second degree vehicular homicide, which is a misdemeanor. 

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