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Hwy 247: Macon's most dangerous road

<p>According to Georgia Department of Transportation crash data, 247 is where you're more likely to be hurt or even die in an accident than any other road in Bibb County.</p>

Justin McDuffie

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Highway 247 has many names in Bibb County, including Hawkinsville Road and Pio Nono Avenue. It stretches from east Macon all the way to the Houston County line.

According to Georgia Department of Transportation crash data, it's where you're more likely to be hurt or even die in an accident than any other road in Bibb County.

Lewis Merriano knows traffic on Pio Nono Avenue. He sells cars from a lot near the intersection of Guy Paine Road.

“You hear the brakes locking up, you hear 'Errrrrrrrrr,' then you hear horns beeping,”

Many times, that leads to wrecks near the lot.

Gregg Lewis works at Raffield Tire Master just down the road. In his forty years there, he says he's seen wreck after wreck.

“You see traffic accidents out here all the time out here,” Lewis said. People get killed, trucks turning over, you see a ton of pretty bad things out here.”

Highway 247 is more than 20 miles long, and spans most of Bibb County.

According to data from GDOT, more than 213 crashes with injuries happened along this track in 2016, more than any other road in the county. Four people even died on the road many travel every day.

“I'm not really surprised by that, because in my years of experience, Highway 247 is one of the major arteries in Bibb County, so there's a high volume of traffic all day,” Captain Brad Wolfe said.

Wolfe oversees patrol operations with the Bibb Sheriff’s Office.

For more than 20 years, he's worked thousands of wrecks on Bibb roadways, many of them on 247.

“Rear-end accidents, and then failure to yield,” Wolfe said. “Somebody's either trying to beat a light and they're trying to get across the roadway, or maybe they're pulling out of a business and don't yield to oncoming traffic.”

He says speed and distractions play a big role.

Wolfe calls the area between Houston Avenue and Rocky Creek Road the problem spot.

Lewis and Merriano agree.

“The biggest thing they can do is drop the speed limit,” Lewis said. “Especially in this section right here. I doubt there's a more dangerous spot than right here where we stand at Guy Paine road.”

“They feel like it’s an open stretch, they're not really paying attention like they should,” Merriano said. “You should pay attention at all times when you’re in a vehicle. This is a very dangerous thing.”

It's a danger he hopes his customers and others avoid.

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Most Dangerous Road by County (Most Injuries)

Baldwin - HWY 243

Bibb - HWY 247

Bleckley SR 87/Bypass

Crawford - HWY 42

Dodge - GA 87

Dooly - GA 90

Hancock - GA 15

Houston - Watson Blvd.

Johnson - GA 15

Jones - HWY 49

Laurens - SR 31

Macon - GA 49

Monroe - GA 401

Peach - GA 49

Pulaski - GA 11

Taylor - GA 96

Telfair - GA 27

Treutlen - GA 15

Twiggs - GA 57

Washington - GA 15

Wheeler - GA 30

Wilcox - GA 215

Wilkinson - GA 57

GDOT Crash Data by 13WMAZ on Scribd