Passenger killed in three-car crash
by Brandon Wilson
bwilson@mdjonline.com
April 14, 2011 12:00 AM | 18423 views | 62 62 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police investigate a three-car crash on Due West Road near The Avenue West Cobb on Wednesday afternoon that resulted in the death of the passenger in this red Volkwagen convertible.<br>Staff/Brandon Wilson
Police investigate a three-car crash on Due West Road near The Avenue West Cobb on Wednesday afternoon that resulted in the death of the passenger in this red Volkwagen convertible.
Staff/Brandon Wilson
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WEST COBB - A woman, riding in a Volkwagen convertible driven by her 16-year-old son, died after a three-car collision Wednesday afternoon on Dallas Highway near The Avenue West Cobb.

Kimberly Nichols, 45, of Dallas, was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. The teenager, whose name was not released, was taken by ambulance to Kennestone with non life-threatening injuries. Charges are expected to be filed against him.

The crash occurred at 1:45 p.m. Traffic was detoured in the area for roughly two hours as police investigated the scene.

Witnesses told authorities that the teen driver of the 2002 Volkswagen Cabriolet turned in front of oncoming traffic to take a left on Old Hamilton Road. A red Mustang, driven by Karen Flury, 40, of Dallas, hit the Volkswagen on the passenger side door, Cobb Police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said. The Volkwagen then spun around and was hit in the back by a gray Mazda, driven by 19-year-old Joseph Kirkland, of Powder Springs, Pierce said. A box truck, trying to take a left from the other side of intersection, was believed to be blocking the vision of the Volkswagen driver, Pierce said.

The driver of the box truck is being sought for questioning, as he or she drove away from the scene, Pierce said. Cobb Police are at (770) 499-3987.

Flury complained of injuries and was also taken to Kennestone for treatment. Kirkland was not injured, Pierce said.
Comments
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MattGMD
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April 21, 2011
It seems plausible that the two cars that struck the teen and his mother's VW might have been the adverse drivers. If the VW was in the intersection already halfway executing the left turn, then the two cars that hit the VW certainly should have tried to stop or slow down to avoid the car clearly in their path. Perhaps the cops feel compelled by law to file the charges, but the prosecutor should certainly consider that it was an accident, and push for the most reduced amount of punishment available. My condolences and deepest sympathy to the family of Kim Nichols. - M.Gordon MD.
jli
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April 20, 2011
I just wanted to say to the family that I am truly sorry for your loss and for the ridiculous trouble the police are giving your son. I hope you find peace in knowing that people you don't even know are thinking about you all and praying for your family at this terrible time. I wish you all peace.
HHSWrestlingmom
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April 19, 2011
For those of you that have inquired if the 16 yr old driver would be charged....

Cobb Co. Sheriffs Dept has arrested and charged him with vehicular homicide in the death of his mother who he was very close to, she was his best friend. She was the mom that all kids could talk to and she wanted to help make a difference in all kids lives that came into her life. She was devoted to her family and I know without a doubt that this very outspoken woman would be very angry at her son being charged when she told him to "Go" and it was an accident!!

Please all call, write, or email the DA or anyone within Cobb County about this sad situation.

Kim Nichols will be so very missed and loved!! But none will miss her as much as her husband, two sons, daughter, grandchildren and the many kids that she touched!
so saddened
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April 19, 2011
I, too, am very sorry for the mother who lost her life, and for her son, who will feel the pain of the loss and the responsibility for it. I don't blame him for it though but I know he will feel it.

To the family/friends of this mother/son: please let us know somehwere/somehow if this young man must go to court. Many of us mothers will gladly attend the hearing in support of him. I would not want my son charged for manslaughter. I would want my family and friends to comfort my child. A mother's love doesn't stop with death.
Sympathetic
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April 18, 2011
My heart breaks for the families of all involved in this tragedy. If there was anything I could do, I would do it. It is comforting to hear that there are people to comfort and support the

family. Were there other children in the family?



I have faced this "left turn" danger many times. It is just so difficult to see what is coming, and there is always a car behind who impatiently wants you to make the turn. Obviously, for insurance purposes, the teenager was to blame; however, on a street and intersection that is that busy, there ought to be better ways to control the time used for left turns.
tnwelch
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December 14, 2011
to: Sympathetic

Yes SHe had another son and a daughter but both are adults plus she had three grandchildren.
tnwelch
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April 18, 2011
1st off this article is not correct. The mother of the drive told him to turn and I would guess from what she could see it was clear. 2nd everyone is jumping to conclusion about what charges mean they can mean as little as a ticket. 3rd the order in which the cars hit is wrong in this article. The Mazda hit 1st the Mustang hit 2nd and the driver of the mustang had plenty of time to stop but was not paying attention. And Yes I do Know these thing for a fact because I am closely related to the persons in the Volkwagen.
Trent Turk
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April 15, 2011
Today I spoke with a representatives from both CObb DOT and GA DOT. I explained the situation regarding the speed limits along Dallas Hwy from Barrett Pkwy all the way to Old Hamilton Road. I explained that the community in general feels that the speed limit for this stretch of road should be 45 mph, not 55 mph.

Keep in mind.. this is the government with long drawn out processes to get change of any sort. I was informed that speed limits are set based on a 85% rule. That means that the avg speed of 85% of the traveling public dictates what the speed limit will be! The highest 15% are not considered, only the remaining 85% when setting the speed limit. Both representatives were very informative and considerate. I was referred to GA DOT by Cobb DOT, since this is a State Route. The GA DOT representative committed to perform a "Speed Study" during the next 60 days and get back with me. He actually took the time to set the reminder on his calendar to call me back and sent me an email to confirm.

Once the speed study is completed, a process will be initiated to lower the speed limit if it is justified. Cross your fingers, West Cobb.
omob87
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April 15, 2011
I agree with everyone that it is awful that he is being charged; however, he has to be charged for insurance to cover the damages. Yes it is awful he is being charged, but it is the law. It was a horrible accident, but the law is the law and charges are required by insurance.
@ O Hamilton
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April 15, 2011
I would like to pose a question back to you...

If you were this son's mother or father would you want him charged for manslaughter if it was an accident? I can tell you if an ACCIDENT occured that took one of my loved ones I would grieve for them and I would want action/changes. Charges for manslaughter? Really? Rather, become an advocate for change instead of making a child pay for an honest mistake. In regards to your question, I would feel the same way if the fatality was one of the other drivers.
anonymous
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April 15, 2011
Just ignore the honking idiots behind you and don't turn unless you have clear vision or wait for the green arrow. These other posters make it seem as though there is no green arrow. Does it really have to be one where you can only turn on the arrow?
Aggrevated
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April 15, 2011
I am not familiar with this intersection and if it is dangerous it should be fixed. I understand the young driver may have been at fault and for insurance purposes by all means charge him with the accident, but to file charges of vehicular homicide is totally rediculous and frustrating. This young man will have to live with the fact that his mother died in this crash and to compound his grief and worry with criminal charges is obsurd. I promise this though if criminal charges are brought against this young man I will do everything within my power to stage a protest and the Cobb County District Attorneys office will be fludded with phone calls of angry citizens. This was an ACCIDENT not a criminal act and it should be treated as such. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THIS YOUNG MAN AND HIS FAMILY. MAY YOUR MOTHER REST IN PEACE AND MAY GOD GIVE YOU PEACE.

@what charges
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April 15, 2011
Whether you agree or not, the child was at fault and caused the collision. It could have been avoided which is why he may face charges. If he could not see the oncoming traffic due to a truck in the turning lane, then he should not have turned. It is sad and tragic, but the woman who hit them is not at fault and for insurance and legal matters, fault must be assigned.
close family friend
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April 15, 2011
i have known the women for 18 years and the boy for his whole life and for the police to even think of charging him is bull. he just lost his mom and that doesn't even matter. I consider them family and dont care about charges and that crap. the women was a wonderful person and the boy is a good kid and its bad enough this happened. they shouldnt make it worse. R.I.P KIM I'll miss you (J.S.B)
County Wide
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April 14, 2011
Another case of BAD design. I have lived in this county all my life and the engineers that Cobb & the GA DOT are using to determine where a "Left Turn On Green Arrow ONLY" or just "Turn Left on any Green Light" is absurd. Completely backwards.

Come to Bells Ferry Rd at Shiloh/Shallowford Rd. Heading north on Bells Ferry Rd. you can turn on ANY green light and there is HORRIBLE visibility of oncoming traffic.

Then go back south one block and you have visibility for a LONG way and it is "Turn Left on Green Arrow ONLY" at Bells Ferry & Hawkins Store Rd.

Numerous accidents have occured at Bells Ferry & Shiloh/Shallowford and I know of at least 2 people killed. I have called and complained. Do you think anything, anything at all has been done? Of course not! Insanity & stupidity rule. Sort of the way Obama is running this country.
Shadow7071
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April 14, 2011
Hamilton at Due West and Hamilton at Dallas Highway are both very dangerous intersections. Cobb DOT/Ga. DOT or whoever underestimated the traffic at Hamilton/Due West from the start. When they first opened that intersection they didn't even include a turn signal. Many of us called and complained and Cobb added the turn signals.

All of these left turn lanes are dangerous. You can't see the oncoming traffic. I've thought for a long time how wrong they are designed. It's another case of it looks great on paper but doesn't work in the real world.
Sorry for your loss
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April 14, 2011
Let this child alone. He is grieving the loss of his mom. It was an accident. If you are a family member or friend of the family reading this, please know that I am a mom of a 16 year-old new driver and I will be praying for you and for your fine young man. I am so sorry this community is not doing a better job of supporting you or your young man and that the DA is acting so hateful--they could be getting rapists and child abusers, but they prey on youth here in Cobb.
ThoughtsAreWithYou
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April 14, 2011
I am just so sorry this happened. The thought that the kid has to live with this for the rest of his life just kills me. My prayers and thoughts are with this boy and the rest of his family. God bless.
anonymous
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April 14, 2011
I often take this road and you truly can't see. The best thing to do is just yield until the car turns and then you can see well. It's just a matter of being patient.
my condolences
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April 14, 2011
To the family and friends who have experienced loss because of this accident, you are and will continue to by in my prayers and I'm sure many others. This is a tragedy, and I pray over time your hearts will begin to heal. To the young driver, this could have been any of us. I am sorry it was you; God's grace will carry you.

Cobb County DOT - please fix this. I was at this intersection 4 hours after the accident and someone honked at me to turn even though I couldn't see oncoming traffic. Not good.

marietta driver
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April 14, 2011
As a mother of 2 teenagers, one with her learners and the other getting his in a few months, I panic at the thought of them driving on Dallas Hwy. I agree that the speed limit needs to be reduced to 45 and turn only arrows be installed. I will pray for this family, especially the boy, as it truly was an accident and needs to be treated as such. Also, I will pray of the other drivers involved as this will be more than physical injuries for them.
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