A multi-vehicle accident in Georgia claimed the lives of a pair of Scaly Mountain residents on Saturday afternoon.
According to Georgia State Highway Patrol reports, the accident occurred near the intersection of US 441 and Old Highway 441 in Clayton just before 4:30 p.m.
David and Dawn Head, of Scaly Mountain, were killed when their Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with a Jeep Commander driven by Tristan Bartlett, 22, of Rabun Gap, Georgia. According to the GSHP report, Bartlett was traveling south on US 441 when his vehicle crossed the centerline into northbound traffic.
Bartlett suffered minor injuries and was transported to Mountain Lakes Medical Center. He was later arrested and charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, driver’s exercise of due care and failure to maintain lane.
Three additional vehicles suffered damage due to the wreck, according to the GSHP report.
The news of the accident hit the Macon County Sheriff’s Office particularly hard. David Head was a deputy for the department and, according to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, a respected member of the law enforcement community.
“David was a good man and a dedicated law enforcement officer who served his community with distinction,” Holland said. “More times than not, he was the kind of man that would tell you he loved you as he left you in a conversation. He and Dawn will be truly missed.”
Holland added that his entire department has been affected by the loss and that his condolences went out to the couple’s children.
“The struggle has been very real for our agency and it’s a great loss to us all, but our hearts and our sympathy go out to those who loved David and Dawn the most – their children and their families,” Holland said. “I plan to create a fund today (Tuesday) that our community can contribute to for the children’s education.”
A moment of silence in the Heads’ honor was observed during the annual Highlands American Legion Post 370 Memorial Day event on Monday. David Head was a Legion member and a former aviation ordnanceman in the United States Navy.
“As most of you know, we lost a Legion member and a local law enforcement officer and his wife in a tragic accident over the weekend,” Post 370 Commander Ed McCloskey said. “We want to take a moment to honor them and think of their families in a time of great need.”
The remembrance of the Head’s continued on Tuesday night with a prayer circle at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park in Highlands.
The Clayton Tribune reporter Megan Broome contributed to this report.