By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor
A fatal car wreck on Highway 441, near the border between Morgan and Oconee counties, claimed the life of Douglas McGrath, a 49-year-old Watkinsville man, on the early morning of Tuesday, Dec. 22. McGrath was transported to a local hospital before succumbing to his injuries. The head-on collision with a tractor-trailer occurred on the 441 bridge over the Apalachee River. Both Oconee County and Morgan County police officers worked the scene.
Morgan County officers helped redirect traffic. The crash also caused a significant diesel fuel spill, which closed-off miles of 441 for over seven hours, while road workers cleaned up the fuel that leaked from tractor trailer. According to authorities, McGrath’s Ford Festiva apparently crossed over the center line, colliding head on into a 1999 Freightliner owned by Brown Trucking Company. It has not been determined why McGrath’s car veered into the oncoming lane. The truck driver was not injured in the accident. McGrath, originally from Iowa, graduated from Oconee County High School in 1984 and married Oconee County teacher Shawna McGrath. The couple had three children: Nathaniel Paul McGrath, Erin McGrath, Natalie June Babin.