Cobb County

78-year-old killed when tree fell on his car remembered as ‘great man,’ businessman

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — People who knew and loved the grandfather killed when a tree crushed his car say he was a mentor, a businessman and someone who inspired those he came into contact with.

Herbert Williams, 78, was on the way to work on Tuesday when a massive tree came crashing down on him.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke to Kevin Dodson, who owns a barbershop next door to the business Williams owned, Sound Decisionz, on Highway 138 in Jonesboro.

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“Mr. Herb was a great man,” Dodson said. “I just have good things to say about him.”

Dodson had a heavy heart as he cut hair at the D&D Barbershop. He was trying to make sense of how a ride to work ended up with a tree falling on his friend, killing him.

Dodson doesn’t understand how the tree managed to fall at the exact moment Williams drove by on Highway 54 near Jenni Lane Tuesday morning. He traveled the same road on the way to work that day. Dodson says he had to be at his shop at 9 a.m. and Williams at his business an hour later.

“He just didn’t make it to work, a tree fell on him,” Dodson said, seemingly puzzled by it all.

Dodson says it was pouring down hard that morning. He says one of Williams’ workers called his wife when he didn’t show up to work. He says Williams’ wife then drove the route he takes and that’s when she saw what happened.

Dodson says Williams was well respected and much loved in this community. He says he had a close-knit family.

“My heart goes out to them,” he said.


The store has a sign that says, “Closed. Death in family.” Someone placed flowers at the door.

“And to know he was taken away like that,” Jessie Kelly said.

Kelly says Williams was like a grandfather to him. He says he inspired so many people in the community and even pushed him to open his own car stereo store.

Kelly stopped by the store and played music in memory of the friend he lost way too soon.

“He was more than just a business owner. He was a father to a lot of people. Like a lot of people looked up to him like granddad,” he said.

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The family will hold a balloon release ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Sound Decisionz at 855 Highway 138 in Jonesboro. The funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Athony Watkins Funeral Home at 163 North Avenue in Jonesboro.