Arrest made in accident that claimed the life of Macon County Sheriff’s Office Corporal and his wife

David and Dawn Head

Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer

Charges have been filed in a Saturday afternoon accident that claimed the life of Macon County Sheriff’s Office Corporal David Head and his wife Dawn. The couple was killed after Tristan Bartlett, 22 of Rabun Gap, failed to maintain his lane and crossed the center line into northbound traffic while traveling south on Ga. 15 in a 2006 Jeep Commander, according to GSP. The wreck occurred in Mountain City Georgia and resulted in the highway being closed for over four hours. 

When Bartlett crossed the center line, a chain reaction was started which resulted in a five car collision, including the motorcycle carrying David and Dawn Head. The couple was pronounced dead on scene by Rabun County Coroner Sam Beck. 

Other vehicles involved in the collision were a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado, occupied by Michael Payne, 51, and Tyler Payne, 26 of Hampton, Tn., a 2011 Kia Sorento occupied by Jessica Robinson, 41, Jerry Robinson, 69, Linda Robinson, 65, and Jerry Parker, 6 of Clayton, and a 2016 Chevrolet pickup occupied by Breanna Almeida, 25, Hanna Abercrombie, 31 of Franklin, N.C. and Blake Ashmon, 32 of Stone Mountain, Ga.

Although the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is continuing to investigate the accident, Tristan Michael Bartlett was charged over the weekend with two counts of second-degree homicide by vehicle, failure to exercise due care and failure to maintain lane, Rabun County Detention Center records show. 

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David served as a Corporal for the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and his wife Dawn worked at the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. The couple leaves behind a blended family of four young children. To help provide for the children moving forward, members of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office created the “David & Dawn Head: Children’s Education Fund.”

The funds collected will directly and equally benefit all four of the children that the couple shared as a family.

“If you are looking for a way to help those that David and Dawn loved most in this world, this would be a great opportunity to do so,” said Sheriff Robert Holland. “One of their children is currently attending college, two just completed high school and are planning to further their education and the youngest is of middle school age. All four are great kids with a bright future ahead of them.”

United Community Bank in Franklin will be accepting donations to the “David & Dawn Head: Children’s Education Fund” or donations can also be made online to the GoFund Me Page, which can be found on the Macon County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page. Both of these accounts have been created jointly and all funds collected will go to benefit David and Dawn’s children equally.

A celebration of life will be held at the Scaly Mountain Fire Department on Thursday, May 28 at 11 am. A funeral procession will begin at the Sheriff’s Department Annex downtown at 10 a.m., go up Main Street, then 441 to Scaly. The family has asked if you would like to show your support and pay tribute to the couple, please do so by parking on the side of 441. There will be memorial services for them at a later date.