TIFTON -- Two people died in fatal accidents in Irwin County yesterday, one by drowning and another hit by a car as he drove his golf cart down Highway 32.

Irwin County Coroner Jimmy Bullington said 14-year-old Jermaine McCormick of Mystic was swimming with friends in a pond off Ga. Highway 32 late Thursday afternoon when he went under the water. According to Bullington, one or more of the friends tried to rescue him but he pulled the friend or friends under the water. The friends left to get help when McCormick drowned. Bullington said he believed the pond was used for irrigation and the young people were playing in the water.

"I received the autopsy results this morning and it was ruled as an accidental drowning," Bullington said.

McCormick's body was taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta for autopsy. He said staff with Henderson Chapel in Fitzgerald picked up the boy's body for transport to their funeral home.

In an unrelated accident, Christopher Mark Paulk, 31, of Irwin County, was riding a golf cart down Ga. Highway 32 at about 10 p.m. Thursday night. According to Bullington, he didn't have the lights on the cart turned on, and a white van struck him from behind.

The van overturned and its two occupants were transported by Irwin County EMS for treatment at Coffee Regional Medical Center. Their identities and conditions could not be determined by presstime.



To contact city editor Angie Thompson, call 382-4321.

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