Herman Wise - July 6, 1937 -- July 1, 2003

TOCCOA, Ga. -- Former nationally ranked sprint car driver Herman L. Wise, 65, of Toccoa, Georgia died Tuesday, July 1, 2003, in Habersham County, Georgia from injuries sustained in a head on passenger vehicle crash.

Born in Buncombe County, N.C., he was the son of the late Daniel H. and Lillian Davis Wise, and had lived most of his life in Stephens County, Georgia. He was the owner/operator of North Georgia Processing and Action Septic. He was a racecar builder and former driver. He won the 1971 Little 500 in Anderson, Ind. He was a member of the Toccoa First United Methodist Church, the Trogdon Sunday school class and was president of his class. He was a member of the Toccoa Masonic Lodge 309 and served in the Army National Guard. Surviving are widow, Janice Eubanks Wise ; daughters, Conti Layton of Carnesville, and Allison Bentley of Toccoa; stepdaughter, Sandy Eggers of Cumming; stepson,Ken Eggers of Loganville; four grandchildren; and his sister, Claudia Pressley of Toccoa.

He was preceded in death by a brother, David Wise.

Services were held Saturday July 5th at the Toccoa First United Methodist Church by the Rev. Jim Bocian; burial was in Toccoa City Cemetery with Masonic Rites. Whitlock Mortuary handled the services.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Toccoa First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, or to the Toccoa Masonic Lodge.

The accident occurred in Demorest, Georgia. Two men died Tuesday when their vehicles collided head-on at about 4 p.m. on Duncan Bridge Road in Habersham County near the White County line. Police sources said Jacky Holland, 27, of Clarkesville was trying to pass another vehicle on the right in a short stretch of three-land road. Running out of road to finish the pass, Mr. Holland merged left at too high a speed and lost control, the trooper said. He collided head-on with Herman Wise, 65, of Toccoa. Both men died in the collision.

Mr. Holland was driving a Toyota 4-runner, and Mr. Wise was in a Toyota pickup. Neither was wearing a seat belt, police reported. Upon colliding with Mr. Wise's truck, Mr. Holland was ejected from his vehicle. Driverless, his 4-Runner then collided with a 1991 Conventional Truck with Thomas Griffin of Martin behind the wheel. Mr. Griffin, an employee of Mr. Wise's at North Georgia Processing and Action Septic, was not injured. The tire assembly on Mr. Wise's truck meanwhile was ripped off and flew through the windshield of a Chevy Silverado, driven by Pamela Shadburn of Cleveland, Georgia. The Cleveland woman was treated and released, the trooper said.

Police theorized that speed was the major factor in the accident though rain might also have contributed. There was no evidence that alcohol was involved.