UPDATE: 1-4-13, 7:53 p.m. (identities of victims released and probable cause of accident)
Two people were critically injured Friday afternoon following a head-on collision on Canton Highway (Highway 20) near Business Drive in northwest Forsyth County.
Linda D. Pollard, 75, of Big Canoe located in Pickens County, was traveling westbound on Canton Highway in her 2005 Honda Pilot when she crossed over the center turn lane into the eastbound lane, according to Cpl. David Garrison of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. When she crossed over, she slammed head-on into a Ford F350 van, driven by Howard B. Nichelson, 61, of Canton, who tried to stop but was unable to.
Garrison said the impact of the collision caused both drivers to be entrapped in their vehicles and had to be extricated.
Division Chief Jason Shivers of the Forsyth County Fire Department told Cumming Patch, Nichelson was taken to North Fulton Hospital via ambulance in critical condition. Pollard was life flighted to Atlanta Medical Center also in critical condition.
The accident happened around 2 p.m. forcing authorities to close Canton Highway down in both directions for about one hour and 15 minutes. During this time traffic was rerouted.
Cpl. Garrison said Pollard and Nichelson were wearing their seatbelts and that the air bags in both vehicles deployed.
While alcohol and drugs are not suspected as being a cause of the collision, the incident remains under investigation.
No other persons were involved in the crash.
Editor's Note: Watch Division Chief Jason Shivers detail what happened during Friday's accident and stay with Cumming Patch for updates on this story.