Matthews child killed in accident
• "It's a sad situation, but hopefully it'll remind other children and parents to be more careful," a family member said.
By Ben Roberts
A 13-year old Matthews' boy died as a result of injuries he suffered when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle last weekend.
Charles Theo Haynes Jr., son of Charles and Lisa Haynes of Campground Road, died Monday afternoon at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) in Augusta.
According to the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), Haynes rode out of the eastside ditch about a mile north of Highway 88 on his bicycle, crossing on to Campground Road and into the path of an oncoming vehicle driven by Joyce Ann Scott, 54, of Wrens. GSP said there was nothing Scott could do to avoid the child and she will not be charged in the accident.
Jefferson County EMS Director Mike Bennett said the boy suffered massive head trauma and was airlifted to MCG's Trauma Center. Haynes was found to have irreversible brain damage and was disconnected from life support systems shortly before 2 p.m. Monday afternoon.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 21, at 4 p.m. at the Wrens Baptist Church. Interment will follow at Wrens Memorial Garden Cemetery.
"Charlie," as family and friends knew him, was described as an enthusiastic child, full of life and a proud lover of Southern heritage and memorabilia.
"He was a real outgoing child," said Connie Moss, a cousin of Haynes' mother. "He loved to ride his bike; he didn't meet any strangers. He was a good boy."
Moss said Haynes would make the trip from his parents' residence to the Jet Food Store on a daily basis, always on his bicycle, sticking to trails that ran through the woods near the road.
"It was just a freak accident. It was his time, God wanted him," she said, "It's a sad situation but hopefully it'll remind other children and parents to be more careful."
Haynes' fellow sixth-grade classmates at Wrens Middle School will serve as honorary pallbearers at the funeral. Wrens Middle School principal Julia Wells said the school brought in extra counselors from Jefferson County High School and Wrens Elementary to assist in talking to any of the children who were having difficulty dealing with Haynes' death. Wells said the students, especially the sixth-graders, were quiet and reflective on Monday, their moods subdued. She said they would continue to monitor the students closely and offer any assistance they could.
Wells said the sixth-grade class wore T-shirts to school on Tuesday to honor Haynes' memory.
A fund has been set up to assist the Haynes with funeral expenses. Those memorial contributions can be sent to James Funeral Home, Post Office Box 588, Wrens, Georgia 30833.
Along with his mother and father, Charles is survived by one brother, Anthony C. Hobbs of Matthews, and two sisters, Samantha E. Haynes of Matthews, and Carol D. Haynes of Alabama.
• The county will pay $386,796 the first year, $398,400 the second and $410,352 the last year of the contract
By Ben Roberts
The Jefferson County Commission voted unanimously 4-0 to continue using Rural/Metro Ambulance of Augusta for its county EMS services at its regular meeting last Tuesday night, April 12.
That decision came after 20 minutes of discussion between commissioners concerning bids from Rural/Metro and Gold Cross EMS, also of Augusta. Rural/Metro had the lower of the two bids for the three-year contract, although fees will increase at the beginning of the second and third years. The county will pay Rural/Metro $386,796 the first year, $398,400 the second year and $410,352 the third and final year of the renewed contract.
Gold Cross' bid was considerably higher at $650,000 a year for each of the three years.
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The bids are for two 24-hour ambulances with advanced life support capabilities and one eight-hour ambulance with basic life support when a vehicle with advanced life support is unavailable. The bid also includes a full-time EMS director/manager in addition to the ambulances' regular two staff personnel.
The county currently uses the same three-vehicle set up, with the eight-hour ambulance "floating" on the south end of the county, usually in the Wadley area. That truck normally operates between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Mike Bennett, who has been with Rural/Metro for 15 years, is currently in his fifth year serving as the county's EMS Director.
During the discussion, County Administrator Paul Bryan told commissioners that barring the bid amounts, either company could be considered based on their history and service and insurance certificates provided.
Commissioner Johnny Davis expressed some concern that Gold Cross did not include some information regarding the company's cash flows, which was noted by a certified public accountant (CPA) in the proposal.
"Comparing figures and facts, Rural/Metro looks the best on paper," Gonice Davis said.
Ernie Doss, Division General Manager for Rural/Metro, was present at the meeting along with Bennett to answer any questions the commission might have. There appeared to be no representative from Gold Cross.
Bryan asked Doss if Rural/Metro were awarded the bid, if he would be willing to sit down and discuss operations issues with representatives from the county as well as Jefferson Hospital. Doss agreed with the meeting, saying he would prefer the company have a detailed policy and procedure outline for dealing with the hospital.
Bennett said the purpose of the meeting would be to set consistent guidelines on dealing with hospital transfers. Jefferson Hospital authorities declined to comment on any issues they would like to see discussed.
Rural/Metro's new contract will begin at nearly $100,000 more than what the county paid for the company's services for 2004-2005 which is currently $286,800. Rural/Metro's current three-year contract has increased each year just as the new one will.
The commissioners were scheduled to hold a called meeting at 8:30 a.m. last Monday, April 11, to discuss the ambulance bids. However, only chairman William Rabun was present for the meeting. District 3 commissioner, Sidney Norton, was absent from Tuesday's meeting after being injured in an automobile accident in Augusta the week before. He was still being treated at Jefferson Hospital as of Tuesday's meeting.