GORDON COUNTY, Ga. -- The attorney for Gordon County explained the actions of a 911 dispatcher after he confirmed the man who drowned in floodwaters tried to call for help.
According to attorney James Ledbetter, Gordon County 911 received a hang up from an unknown caller at 1:59 p.m. Saturday. When the dispatcher called back, the caller -- later identified as George Treadaway -- said his car was filling up with water. The connection was lost.
The dispatcher, with the assistance of the cell phone provider, tried to ping the cell phone used to make the 911 call. The ping indicated the phone was located at Old Rome Dalton Road north of Highway 156 in the woods near chicken houses. The service provider expressed "low confidence" in the accuracy of that location.
Ledbetter said the dispatcher was able to determine that address was not near any water source and did not match the limited information given by the caller. "Emergency vehicles were not dispatched at this time due to the caller's unknown location," the county attorney's statement said.
The next day, when Treadaway was reported missing, a search was launched. On Monday, his body was recovered from his car in twelve feet of water at Reeves Station Road. According to police, that section of road had been closed, barricaded, and clearly marked at the time of the incident.
Ledbetter told 11Alive's Valerie Hoff he's "reviewing" the situation.
The 11Alive Investigators have covered the problem with locating 911 cell phone calls extensively in their Lost on the Line: Why 911 is broken investigation. Watch Brenan Keefe's full investigation here. 11Alive's story lead to a national investigation.
Earlier this month, Gwinnett and Cobb Counties sued 15 phone companies. The suit accuses them of failing to collect or turn over some $50 million in 911 fees. Stay with 11Alive as we continue to Hold the Powerful Accountable on this deadly problem.