Detention Officer Killed by DUI Driver on Highway Near Clayton

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The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office will retire the badge of one of its officials who died in a head-on collision with a DUI driver in Georgia. Chief Deputy Scott Cheek says that mourning the loss of Detention Officer Courtney Faith Zajdowicz is difficult for our police community, relatives, and friends.

The 26-year-old female died on Wednesday night in the collision on U.S. 441/GA 15, just north of Clayton with the DUI driver in Georgia. State Troopers claim that an alleged DUI motorist crossed over the centerline and hit Zajdowicz’s pickup truck as she was traveling south. The officer worked for the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office from 2018 to 2020 and, according to Cheek, had recently come to the Sheriff’s workplace this July.

Chief Deputy Cheek also added that Zajdowicz’s badge number 537 will be retired from the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office. Zajdowicz formerly worked at Alto State Prison, before becoming an administrator at the Rabun County Detention Center. She was currently enrolled to become an EMT.

Jaime Avila-Reyes, 41, of Clayton was charged with DUI and first-degree vehicular homicide. Georgia State Patrol Post 7 Commander Donnie Sadler states that the driver of Chevrolet Silverado was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he hit Zajdowicz’s pickup truck. He added that Avila-Reyes was shifted by medics to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and was in stable condition.

The investigation was supported by the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team. The highway was temporarily shut down near the crash site. It reopened late Wednesday night. Funeral services for Zajdowicz are scheduled for Saturday, September 11, at Beck Funeral Home in Clayton. Her family insisted that instead of flowers, people could contribute money to Courtney’s memorial to benefit local law enforcement.

If you are charged with a DUI, contact a DUI lawyer in Georgia for a free consultation.


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