The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Dog is likely cause of fatal collision, coroner says
A dog riding in a driver's lap probably caused a collision that killed two women Saturday, according to Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.
Rebecca Doughty, 53, of Augusta, died at the scene at 7:08 p.m., Collins said. Antoinette Williams, 44, of Lincolnton, Ga., was flown to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said.
Collins said a witness saw Doughty, who had a Chihuahua on her lap, driving erratically before her car crossed the center line on Washington Road near the Keg Creek bridge and collided with Williams' vehicle.
He said toxicology tests would be conducted and are estimated to take at least six to eight weeks.
"I believe the dog caused the fatalities," Collins said. "People need to put the dogs in a dog carrier and fasten them in the back seat just like they would a child."
The dog also died in the crash, he said.
Home burglar alarm scares away intruder
A Grovetown woman told police Thursday that her home alarm scared off someone trying to break into her house while she was inside.
She said she was watching television in her Hamilton Road home about 9:20 p.m. when she heard the front door handle jiggle as if someone were trying to open it. She muted the television and heard someone pushing the back door.
The home alarm went off, so she ran to the alarm keypad and hit the "police" button to summon help. When she opened the side door, she saw a car leaving the driveway next to her home. The driveway leads to woods behind her property, where no one lives.
Police found hand prints on the glass of the back door.
Cell phone stolen from purse left in unlocked car
A Marshall, Va., woman's cell phone was stolen from her car Thursday at an Evans gas pump.
The 19-year-old said she left her Toyota Yaris parked at TPS, 5142 Washington Road, while she went inside the store. Her purse, containing her cell phone, was on the passenger's seat and the window was rolled down.
Car stolen from yard had not been driven in 13 years
A Grovetown man said Saturday that someone stole a car that hasn't run in more than a decade from his yard.
He said that between Thursday and Saturday someone stole the 1993 Oldsmobile Silhouette from his Jaime Drive home. The thief would have towed or hauled the car, which the owner said hasn't run in more than 13 years.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue report for May 9-15:
Wood/brush/grass fires, four; vehicle fires, two; controlled/ unauthorized burns, three; other fire, one; activated fire alarms, six; medical incidents, 18; car crashes, six; weather damage, one; investigate various incidents, five; assist residents, one; and mutual aid/public safety assistance, one.
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