Michael D. Kirkpatrick, 29, of Etowah, died as a result of a grinding head-on Friday morning crash on Highway 39 West after his 2003 Dodge Stratus struck a 2010 Ford driven by 19-year-old Nathan Simbeck, according to State Trooper Kevin Hoppe's report. Kirkpatrick was driving east toward Athens when the wreck occurred in the vicinity of the Hammond's Used Cars lot.
Simbeck was seriously injured and taken to Athens Regional Medical Center for treatment. Hoppe reported Kirkpatrick was not wearing a seat belt.
Neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected as factors in the wreck. The highway was closed for about three hours for the investigation and cleanup efforts.
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