Paulding funeral director killed in “freak” motorcycle crash

A longtime Paulding County funeral director was killed Thursday in what investigators are calling a “freak accident” on I-75 in Bartow County.

The wreck happened about 1 p.m. on I-75 northbound near mile marker 287, in the city of Emerson.

Emerson police Chief Stan Bradley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Jeff Eberhart, 58, was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, on his way to Tennessee to go camping, and was pulling a small trailer behind the Harley.

“He was traveling in the right hand lane and a tractor-trailer passed him,” Bradley said.

The wind created by the truck caught the trailer Eberhart was pulling, and “the trailer began to sway and he lost control and overturned and began to roll,” Bradley said. “He tumbled with the motorcycle.”

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“If you’ve ever been on the interstate and a truck’s passing you and you’ve felt the sway of your car, that’s exactly what happened,” Bradley said.

“Unfortunately, he was pulling a very lightweight trailer, and it was just a really freak accident,” Bradley said. “The wind shear hit just perfect on that trailer, and he lost control.”

Bradley said the truck didn’t make contact with Eberhart.

“There was no indication from our investigation that the truck was doing anything improper,” he said. “It wasn’t speeding excessively; it was just passing him in a legal pass in the middle lane, and when it did, that wind shear just caused him to lose control with that trailer.”

The truck’s driver realized what had happened and stopped, and will not face charges, according to Bradley.

Eberhart was unconscious after the wreck, and was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Eberhart had owned Jeff Eberhart Funeral Home in Dallas since 1982. He served as Paulding County coroner from 1980 to 1992.

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