DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Officials confirm a person was killed Monday afternoon after strong winds caused a tree to fall on the car they were driving.
The Dawson County Sheriff's Office said the driver was on GA Hwy 136 east near Bethel Church Road around 2 p.m. in the Dawsonville area when the tree fell across the road, hitting a truck. The driver, identified by the Fannin County Fire Chief as Stanley Henson, was a volunteer firefighter with the county.
"It's hitting (the department) it real hard right now," Thompson said. "Stanley was a well-known firefighter across the county... He was a good firefighter."
Chief Larry Thompson said Henson, who lived in Blue Ridge, Georgia, had worked a minor accident off Hwy 5 with him earlier Monday. The 47-year-old was on his way to his other weekly volunteer firefighter job in the Athens area when the accident happened. Authorities closed Hwy 136 as they worked to clear the accident. It was reopened around 4 p.m.
Thomas told 11Alive's Faith Abubey Henson had been with the fire department for several years and was up for a promotion to become a lieutenant within the next month.
"It's just a sad thing right now for the department and it will leave a void in our department," Thompson said. "But in his honor, we're going to step forward and keep going."
Henson firefighter leaves behind a wife and two children. No funeral plans have been released yet.
"There's nothing I can say that could actually stand up to the job he did for this county," Thompson continued.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory, Monday, ahead of the anticipated gusty weather. During an advisory, the NWS says sustained winds can reach 30 mph for one hour and frequent gusts of at least 45 mph can occur or are expected within the next 36 hours. The winds can make it difficult to drive high-profile vehicles. Small, unsecured objects may also be blown around by the winds and can bring down dead, rotting or weak trees.
At around 2 p.m., when the accident happened, 11Alive's StormTrackers said sustained winds in the metro Atlanta area were between 20 and 30 mph, and gusts reached up to 40 mph.
The wind advisory remained in effect until 7 p.m.