Community motivated to do something following the loss of a beloved educator

Photo credit: GoFundme – click or tap on the image above for the GoFundme for the Callahan family

Georgia Department of Transportation officials have plans to fix the dangerous intersection at Ozora Church Road and Highway 81, possibly by 2024.

But that is too late for Ashley Callahan.

The 40-year-old mother of two young boys, wife of Dane Callahan – assistant principal at Loganville Middle School, beloved former teacher of many Walton County students and many other family members and friends, lost her life this week at that intersection.

The community was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news and is rallying around the family to see what it can do to help them deal with the loss. Loganville Middle School has begun a GoFundMe account for the family. Anybody wishing to contribute can click on the link.

Welcome to the Callahan family GoFundMe. Dane, Ashley, Charles, Vinnie, and the rest of the family are loved by so many in Walton County and across the Southeast. This fundraiser was created to address the immediate needs of Dane and the boys while they navigate the overwhelming feelings associated with the recent loss of Ashley. Ashley was a beautiful wife, mother, friend, and educator whose impact and legacy will live on through her family, friends, and students whose lives she has deeply touched. Funds raised from generosity will be used at Dane’s discretion on anything from everyday living expenses to memorial services.

GoFundMe for the Callahan family in the wake of the tragic death of Ashley Callahan on Aug. 8, 2023

There is also a move to petition the Georgia Department to speed up plans to address the danger of the intersection to avoid a repeat of this tragedy. According to the project on the GDOT website, “Crash data from the years 2015-2019 showed this intersection experienced a total of 90 crashes: 31 angle collisions, 38 rear-end collisions, 2 sideswipes, and 19 single vehicle collisions. Of those crashes, 29 involved injuries, 8 of which were severe injuries.”

This was years before Tuesday’s fatality.

A roundabout has been proposed and is currently making its way through the process, but that is not soon enough for the devastated community. Social media posts are urging people to contact kemullins@dot.ga.gov to request that something be done in the more immediate future to fix this intersection.

“If we want something done about the dangerous intersection at HWY 81 and Ozora Church Rd to deter any further critical accidents, I recommend everyone send an email expressing concerns to kemullins@dot.ga.gov because yesterdays accident hit to close to home for our community. https://sr-81-ozora-church-roundabout-0016363-gdot.hub.arcgis.com/,” is appearing on posts on social media posts.

You can click on this link to find out the progress of the project on the GDOT project website.

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