Restaurant owner’s storm-related death leaves ‘a dark cloud over Douglasville’

Douglas County restaurateur Scot Hudson was killed during stormy weather when a tree came down on his truck. (Family photo via Channel 2 Action News)
Douglas County restaurateur Scot Hudson was killed during stormy weather when a tree came down on his truck. (Family photo via Channel 2 Action News)

Scot Hudson, 60, was killed when a tree fell on his SUV

For 50 years, Scot Hudson’s place has been Douglasville’s go-to spot for a barbecue sandwich, fries and sweet tea. The food at Hudson’s Hickory House brought folks in and Hudson’s generosity and service to the community kept them coming back. Over time, customers became friends.

“The barbecue was good, but the owners were much better,” said Jeff Morris, among them.

Monday morning, Scot Hudson was on his way to the Veterans Memorial Highway restaurant when a tree fell on his SUV during stormy weather, investigators say. The impact killed Hudson, who was 60.

“The storms may pass today, but there will be a dark cloud in Douglasville for a while,” said longtime Douglas County resident Scott Cosper.

Hudson was one of two people killed Monday when powerful storms — and at least two tornadoes — barreled through Georgia. Hudson died shortly after 10:30 a.m. after a large tree fell on Campbellton Street, less than a mile from his restaurant. About 130 miles away, 55-year-old Carla Harris was hit and killed by the falling tree in a Houston County home.

The National Weather Service has determined an EF-1 tornado hit Douglas County.

May 3, 2021 Atlanta: Brandon Mazarie of Castor Tree Service brings out sawed limbs as his crew removed a tree from a house on Forest Crossing Drive on Monday, May 3, 2021. A possible tornado tracked on the ground for several miles, starting in Douglas County and moved northeast through the city into northern DeKalb County, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologists. The National Weather Service will conduct a survey to confirm the tornado and determine its strength. In Atlanta, fire crews responded to a number of calls for trees down on homes and on the streets along the Cascade Road corridor. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)
May 3, 2021 Atlanta: Brandon Mazarie of Castor Tree Service brings out sawed limbs as his crew removed a tree from a house on Forest Crossing Drive on Monday, May 3, 2021. A possible tornado tracked on the ground for several miles, starting in Douglas County and moved northeast through the city into northern DeKalb County, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologists. The National Weather Service will conduct a survey to confirm the tornado and determine its strength. In Atlanta, fire crews responded to a number of calls for trees down on homes and on the streets along the Cascade Road corridor. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

ExploreConfirmed EF-1 tornado hits Douglas, killing man inside car

Scot Hudson began working at his family’s restaurant while attending Douglas County High School. By then, Hudson’s Hickory House was already a landmark in town. Scot Hudson’s father, Buford, had opened the restaurant in 1971, and Scot followed his father in running the business.

As a child, Morris said he and his friends would ride their bikes to Hudson’s for some tea and maybe a $1 box of fries.

“If you didn’t have enough money, you didn’t have to worry about it because he would let you have it anyway,” Morris said.

In addition to the barbecue restaurant, Scot Hudson ran Hudson’s By The Lake, often used as a wedding venue or for other events. Hudson was known for offering his venue for community functions and often donated food for sports teams or other events.

“I know it’s an old saying, but that guy would give you the shirt off his back,” Cosper said.

After news of his death Monday, the restaurant announced on Facebook it would be temporarily closing.

“Please keep the Hudson family in your prayers,” the post stated. “Thank you in advance for your understanding.”

By Tuesday, more than 1,300 people had commented on the post, sharing memories of Hudson and offering their sympathies.

“Prayers not only for the Hudson family but the entire community as we have all lost one of the kindest, most generous souls around,” one person posted. “He was loved by all who knew him.”

Scot’s father, Buford Hudson still works at the restaurant, and his daughter, Elena Hudson, recently started a food truck business called “The Hud” with help from her dad.

It’s not clear when Hudson’s Hickory House will reopen but Morris said he expects many will eagerly return to pay their respects.

“I’m certain that the town will rally around the business,” he said. “They will probably have more customers than they have before in the next couple of months.”

ExploreRead and sign the online guestbook for Scot Hudson

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