Georgia schools police chief resigns following car crash

Don Knowles

Don Knowles

The Bartow County Schools police chief submitted his resignation as the GBI investigates a crash that left him with an injured knee, officials confirmed Thursday.

There are few details available about Monday’s crash involving Don Knowles, but the Georgia State Patrol said he was directing traffic at Cassville White Road and Colonel Way when a car making a left turn hit him.

“The incident is still under investigation due to conflicting statements,” a GSP spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Knowles was taken to Cartersville Medical Center with minor injuries.

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He submitted his resignation Wednesday after Bartow County Schools conducted its own investigation, spokeswoman Alisha Evans said in an email to the AJC.

“As part of our school system beliefs, we feel we have the responsibility to provide a safe, secure, and supportive learning environment,” Evans said in a statement. “If there is a possibility that has been compromised, our school system takes immediate steps to rectify the situation.”

Dawn Teer says Don Knowles threw a flashlight at her SUV. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

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School officials did not elaborate on the incident. Evans said Superintendent Dr. John Harper “felt it was in the best interest of Bartow County” to accept Knowles’ resignation.

Driver Dawn Teer told Channel 2 Action News that Knowles threw a flashlight at her SUV, breaking the rear windshield. She said she, her daughter and another girl in the car were scared.

“We thought we had been shot,” she said. “The girls thought they had been shot.”

Knowles said Teer hit and injured him with her SUV, which she strongly denied.

Knowles was hired in 2005 as coordinator of safety and security, Evans said. He has been police chief since 2011.

District Attorney of the Cherokee Judicial Circuit Rosemary M. Greene asked the GBI to investigate Knowles, GBI spokesman Bahan Rich told the AJC.

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