Man killed in crash

WINDER - A Statham man died early Sunday and his passenger was jailed following a single-car crash on Ga. Highway 82, near the Barrow-Jackson county line.

The victim, Michael Bernard Smith, 37, was driving a white 1989 Cadillac westbound on the highway around midnight when he apparently lost control, crossed the center line and struck several trees, police said.

Smith was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where he was later pronounced dead, said Barrow County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Todd Druse.

A passenger, Ronald Lewis Thurmond, 41, of Statham, fled the scene on foot and was arrested a short time later by Sheriff's deputies for outstanding warrants in Barrow County, said Druse.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating to determine the exact cause of the crash, Druse said.

Student arrested after fight

SUWANEE - A Peachtree Ridge High student remained in jail Monday, three days after he was arrested on charges stemming from a fight in the school's commons area.

Amiri Bolden, 17, faces misdemeanor charges of affray, battery and disruption of a public school, as well as a felony charge of possession of a weapon on school property, Gwinnett County jail records show.

Bolden and another student got into "a verbal argument that escalated to an altercation" about 11 a.m. Friday, Gwinnett County Public Schools spokesman Jorge Quintana said.

Bolden was carrying a pocket knife but did not pull it out during the fight, Quintana said. The knife was discovered when Bolden was in the office speaking to school administrators and police.

No one was injured in the incident, Quintana said.

Home destroyed by fire

DULUTH - A Sunday night fire in the 3700 block of Whitney Place in Duluth displaced a father and adult son who were out of town, officials said.

The fire, reported by neighbors at 9:18 p.m., destroyed the two-story home before firefighters could render it under control about 40 minutes later.

The blaze sparked several grass fires in neighboring yards and caused cosmetic damage to a neighboring home, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

Grass fires clog road

DACULA - Two grass fires burning along Ga. Highway 316 clogged westbound lanes of the busy thoroughfare Monday afternoon, officials said.

The fast-moving fires were about 150 yards apart, near the intersection of Drowning Creek Road in Dacula. Firefighters closed the westbound lanes of the highway about 3:20 p.m. to douse the blazes, Rutledge said.

Traffic was moving again by about 4:30 p.m., he said. No injuries and no significant damages were reported.

At about the same time, a fast-moving grass fire damaged the back lawns and privacy fences of properties in the 2000 block of Bluebell Street. Rutledge said the blaze was sparked when a hot ember fell from a fire pet, and it spread due to steady winds and dry vegetation.

The fire burned close to houses and extended to a commons area near the neighborhood tennis courts but firefighters were quickly able to contain it.