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Cobb woman gets 30 days for killing volunteer Alpharetta firefighter

A Kennesaw woman has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for accidentally driving into and killing a man who was helping a stranded motorist.

Courtney McClellan was booked back into Cobb County jail Thursday following her sentencing on a misdemeanor second-degree vehicular homicide charge, records show.

McClellan, 22 at the time, killed 52-year-old Mark Strow, a volunteer Alpharetta firefighter about 4:30 a.m. on May 29, 2017, according to a warrant. 

Strow had pulled his Ford Explorer up behind a disabled Chevrolet Impala on I-75 near Delk Road, police said. He activated the strobe lights of his Explorer and put on his reflective vest.


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“Then he said, ‘Brother, don't worry about it; everything's under control,’” the driver of the Impala, 36-year-old Elvis James Jr., previously told Channel 2 Action News.

The chain-reaction crash happened moments later, killing Strow.

A second-degree vehicular homicide charge is defined by Georgia code as being an unintentional death.

Chris Lanning, who prosecuted the case, said the charge was appropriate because McClellan was speeding, going 82 mph in a 65 mph zone, but was sober. Her lack of being under the influence made a difference, Lanning said.


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“That’s one of the determining factors on being a misdemeanor and a felony,” he said.

Lanning said Strow’s family had been contacted about the sentence and approved.

He said McClellan’s sentence will be broken into two 15-day periods, which he said isn’t uncommon. Otherwise, she has a clean record.

McClellan will be on probation for two years after serving her time and must complete 100 community service hours in addition to pay a fine of about $800.

Her Marietta attorney was not immediately available for comment Friday.

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