Excavator Fire

Walton County Fire Rescue responded when an excavator caught fire in the woods off Michael Etchsion Road in Monroe, Ga., on Monday morning, April 19, 2021.

Public safety officials were busy Monday morning with multiple crashes and an off-road heavy equipment fire.

At about 7:15 a.m., the Georgia State Patrol responded to a two-vehicle crash with injuries in the Youth community.

A car exiting a convenience store allegedly turned into the path of a northbound SUV.

Steven R. Tamasi, 58, of Loganville, was driving a 1997 Ford Explorer and cited for failure to yield while turning left. He was taken to Piedmont Walton Hospital with minor injuries.

Joni C. Couch, 33, of Conyers, was taken to Piedmont Walton with serious injuries. A juvenile passenger also sustained minor injuries.

Craig League, assistant chief of Walton County Fire Rescue, said crews on the scene had to extricate a patient from the 1999 Mercury Mountaineer.

State Route 81 was blocked for several minutes, League said.

Less than an hour later, shortly after 8 a.m., troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash on Georgia 138 in Walnut Grove.

A 2014 Mazda CX-5 failed to stop for a 2014 Ford Expedition that slowed for other traffic ahead and rear-ended the SUV.

A 38-year-old Loganville woman was cited for following too closely. No one was hurt in the crash.

The driver told troopers she was distracted by her pet inside the car and didn’t realize traffic was slowing down until it was too late to stop.

Walton County Fire Rescue later responded when an excavator caught fire in woods off Michael Etchison Road near Monroe.

“We’ve had to send our all-terrain brush truck to access it,” League said.

That requires using a tanker truck from the road back and forth from the road to the scene with water. The brush truck holds 400 gallons.

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