Teacher Emily Howell, shown with an unidentified student, was killed in a May 2018 wreck in Paulding County. 
Photo: Special to WSB-TV
Photo: Special to WSB-TV

Ex-deputy indicted in crash that killed Paulding County teacher

Emily Howell taught fourth grade at Russom Elementary School

A Paulding County grand jury has indicted a former sheriff’s deputy accused of causing a crash that killed an elementary school teacher. 

Joshua Powell, who had not previously been charged in the May 2018 wreck, was indicted Wednesday on charges of vehicular homicide in the second degree and failure to maintain lane. Both charges are misdemeanors. 

According to the Georgia State Patrol, Emily Howell was driving northbound on Dallas Acworth Highway in a Ford Mustang when she was struck by Powell. Powell was traveling southbound in a Jeep Wrangler when he crossed the center line and struck the Mustang head-on at approximately 7 a.m. on May 15, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported

Howell, 32, of Dallas, died at the scene of the wreck. Powell was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital for treatment.

At the time of the crash, Howell was about 3 miles from Russom Elementary School, where she taught fourth grade. Howell began teaching at the school in 2015, the school district said. She is survived by her husband, parents and siblings. 

“Emily lived a short but full life,” her obituary stated. “Her students were her first priority; however, in her free time, she enjoyed cooking, entertaining, watching her Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons, traveling to Ormond Beach, taking cruises, spending time with family, friends and her boxer, Bailey.”

Powell had been employed as a Cherokee County deputy for two weeks at the time of the crash. He had just finished a 12-hour shift and was off duty when the crash occurred. Powell resigned from his job in August in lieu of termination, the Sheriff’s Office said this week. 

Emily Howell, who taught fourth grade at Russom Elementary School in Paulding County, died Tuesday.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.