The last weekend before Christmas was marred by a pair of automobile accidents that claimed the lives of two Richmond Hill residents.
On Dec. 19, Tip Ivan Tober, 52, died in a motorcycle accident on Abercorn Street in Savannah.
The next morning, John Harold Ellis II, 23, died in a wreck on Belfast Keller Road.
Two others were injured in Saturday’s wreck.
The Ford Taurus they were travelling in flipped on Belfast Keller Road just before 5 a.m. Saturday morning, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
GSP SCEO Roland McCormick said Ellis, who was in the back seat, died at the scene while driver Mclean Waller, 25, and front passenger Christopher Burdette, 26, were rushed to Memorial Hospital by Bryan County EMS. A hospital representative said the two were treated and later released.
The three were reportedly travelling westbound when the vehicle flipped upon reaching the bend in the road just before Davis Road. The vehicle rested on its roof after colliding with a tree. Ellis was ejected from the vehicle while it was overturning.
McCormick said "charges are pending" and the GSP findings have been turned over to the GSP’s Severe Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) in Reidsville.
"Generally, fatality cases are usually sent to SCRT when charges are involved," McCormick said. "The investigation is in now in their hands."
On Friday, Tober was killed around 2 p.m. when his cycle crashed into a Savannah Fire Department truck, according to the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police.Tober was reportedly trying to turn onto Abercorn from a small access street between Mercy Boulevard and Largo Drive as a Savannah Fire Department Truck passed, and he hit the fire engine in the side, according a SCMP press release.
Authorities said the fire truck was traveling at a slow pace and does not appear to be at fault.
Immediately after impact Station 11 firefighters exited their vehicle and tried to help Tober, who died at the scene.
The Savannah Fire Department released the following statement:
"In light of the terrible tragedy that happened earlier today, the Savannah Fire and Emergency services department are in a state of mourning. This is a terrible tragedy for all involved including the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for the citizens of Savannah. The Critical Incident Stress Management team has been made available for all SFES employees involved with this incident, and the Savannah Fire and emergency service bureau will continue to support the well being of our everyday heroes."
Meanwhile, Tober’s family is forced to deal with the loss of a loved one.
Tober was employed at Gulfstream, where he worked on the interiors of planes. Daughter-in-law Rebecca Tober said he loved to fish and to bowl, but he loved his family most of all.
"There’s no doubt where he’s at right now," she said. "He loved Jesus, and he wasn’t afraid to tell people about that. He always saw the glass half full. He was never negative. And he knew everybody - he was a social butterfly and is well-liked in this community."