4th grade teacher killed in crash with detention officer

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — A fourth-grade teacher died early Tuesday morning in Paulding County.

Authorities told Channel 2's Sophia Choi that Emily Howell and a non-mandated detention officer with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office collided just a few miles away from the school where she taught.

Parents with kids at Russom Elementary School are still coming to grips with the tragic accident that killed Howell, who was on her way to school at the time.

“It was a struggle for all the teachers. They were all just walking around and we had a moment to cry,” said parent Marissa Peleaz.

Red markers now line the area, where the accident happened on Dallas Acworth Highway. The deputy was injured and taken to a hospital.

A father of a 7-year-old student, who is also a Cobb County deputy, said crashes like this is tragic.


“We’ve had a lot of officers where they’re in an accident. It changes them, it really does,” said parent Chris Leger. “I pray for the families, that’s all we can do.”

Parents said the stretch of road where the accident happened is dangerous.

“Those are two of the worst intersections on that roadway for people slowing down, making immediate turns, cutting in and out of traffic. That very well could have played a part in the situation. It’s just a dangerous area,” Leger said.

Georgia State patrol is still investigating, so it’s not known who was at fault and if any charges are pending. 

Howell was hired at the school in 2015, but the Paulding County School District said her passion for investing in others did not stop with her occupation. She volunteered for numerous clubs and out-of-class activities. 

Paulding County School District released the following statement regarding Howell's death: 

"Ms. Emily Howell was a dynamic young fourth grade teacher who was loved by her colleagues and the students she taught. Her tragic passing has had a profound effect on the entire Russom Elementary School family. The district’s CARE/Crisis Response Team and school counselors have met with staff at Russom and will be talking to students and parents to help them cope with the unexpected loss. They are also contacting the parents of Ms. Howell’s students. The district is prepared to provide the support that will be necessary to help the school through this difficult time, including providing accommodations and resources for Ms. Howell’s students for the remainder of the school year. 

"Ms. Howell was hired at Russom Elementary in 2015. She was a very dedicated teacher, and her students always came first. She was a hard worker who volunteered for numerous clubs and out-of-class activities, and she was an excellent communicator with parents. She will be dearly missed. We ask that you keep Ms. Howell’s family in your thoughts and prayers at this time."

We're still working to learn the cause of the crash. Stay with Channel 2 for the latest updates on this developing story.