2018-04-11 / Front Page

Two die over the weekend on Burke roadways


A teenager and a grandmother were killed in two separate traffic incidents on Burke roadways within 24 hours of one another.

Alexis Brianna Russell, 13, an eighthgrader at Burke County Middle School, died Saturday, April 7, after being run over on Ebenezer Church Road.

According to a Georgia State Patrol report, Russell was out with two other juveniles when the incident occurred just after 4 a.m. A witness told troopers she was walking in both lanes, attempting to stop cars, and that she had jumped out in front of his vehicle. He also stated that he yelled at her to get out of the roadway, but she did not.

Kevin Edward Cawley, 47, of Tallahassee, Fla., did not see the girl until his 2015 Dodge van struck her, the report said. She was pulled under the vehicle for 71 feet, and the van continued to travel another 123 feet before coming to a stop.

A person close to the family said Russell had snuck out of the house to visit friends unbeknownst to her mother, and that they are asking for continued prayers during the days ahead. The family friend stated that Russell was partially deaf and had ear buds in at the time of the accident.

The report also stated that neither Russell nor Cawley appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but blood tests are pending on them both.

The second fatality occurred around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, April 8, just south of the Board of Education Office on Burke Veterans Parkway.

According to early reports from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Beverly Young, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene. Tommie Wright, 62, an employee with the City of Waynesboro Public Works department, was transported to Augusta University Medical Center where he is said to be in critical condition.

The GSP report concerning the incident was not yet available at press time. The GSP report concerning the incident was not available at press time.

Waynesboro Vice Mayor Brenda Lewis said she had known the victim all her life. “Beverly was kindhearted, and if you ever needed her help, she was only a phone call away,” she said, asking for prayers for Young’s family as well as for Wright who remains in the hospital in critical care.

BCSO Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard said the sheriff’s office is doing everything they can to make roadways safer.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is to drive safely,” he said. “Life is precious and way too often it is cut short by tragedies such as these. The families and friends of both victims have our sincere condolences and will be in our prayers.”

Return to top