Beloved Cedartown teacher killed in crash, 21-year-old woman arrested

A beloved teacher was killed in a wreck after leaving school on Tuesday. David Brown was a social studies teacher at Cedartown Middle School.

One of David Brown's close friends says he was passionate about helping students and was an all-around wonderful person. 

His death came as a shock to students and staff at Cedartown Middle School, as well as to community members.

Chad Prater's heart sank when he heard of the teacher's death. Prater's wife teaches in another district.

"Losing a school teacher in the middle of the year is pretty hard on the students, especially in a small town, because everybody knows everybody," said Prater.

The fatal wreck happened just down the road from the school at the intersection of US-27 and Collard Valley Road.

Georgia State Patrol investigators say 21-year-old Jamie Chavez-Lopez ran a red light and struck Brown's car, sending it spinning into a truck that was stopped in the opposite lane.

Chavez-Lopez was charged with homicide by vehicle, failure to obey traffic control device, and driver to exercise due care.

Maricela Chavez-Lopez

Jamie Chavez-Lopez

The wreck happened right after school was dismissed for the day on Tuesday.

"That's sad, that's rough for the kids to process and have to go back to school because they're not going to be given the space to grieve because school has to go on," said Gay, a Polk County resident.

Friends say Brown was a loving husband and father of two adult sons.

David Brown

David Brown

School officials called him a valued member of the Polk County School District.

"I hate that for our community. Polk County is a really nice community, we got so many strong bonds. Especially the Bulldogs, they're all there for each other," said Gay.

School officials say there are additional counselors and therapists at the middle school to help students and staff during this difficult time.