The man, Russell Cordle, was driving a black 2000 Honda Civic about 7 p.m. when he left the southern edge of the road and collided with the western end of a bridge guardrail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cobb Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said Cordle was wearing a seat belt, and that there were no obvious signs of alcohol at the crash site, although as a standard routine a toxicology report would be conducted.
Cordle was an only child whose mother died in a car accident when he was a boy, said his girlfriend, Lauren Jackson of Acworth.
Jackson said Cordle, a 2011 Hillgrove High School graduate who lived with his father and stepmother in Powder Springs, had left his house around 5 p.m. to get dinner. Jackson said she was still at work when Cordle left a note on her car, telling her to call him. She saw the note, and they talked by phone around 6 p.m.
“We talked, and I said I’d call him back, and when I called him back he never answered,” Jackson said. “He still hadn’t called me back, and I called and called and called. It’s not like him to not answer, even when he’s mad.”
At about 10:30 p.m., Jackson said she decided to brave the storm, and drove to Cordle’s house with two friends.
“We pulled up, and I saw the cop car in the driveway, and I went and knocked on the door, and they told me,” Jackson said. “He was only a quarter of a mile away from his house. He was almost home.”
Jackson said a witness reported seeing Cordle lean over as if he was trying to get something off the passenger seat of the car when he swerved.
“I think maybe he got mad, because we were – not fighting – but we were having our differences like every couple does, and I think that maybe he threw his phone and got mad, and then maybe he was trying to pick it up because he heard me or someone calling him because his friends were trying to call him, too, and then maybe he went to reach for it. Or maybe the food that he had just gotten fell on the floor, and he just reached – I don’t know, there’s a million things going through my head that could have happened.”
Jackson said after Cordle graduated from Hillgrove, he studied at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando. His dream was to run his own motorcycle repair shop, which he had started doing out of his house.
“He really was the sweetest guy in the world,” Jackson said. “He would do anything for anybody. He loved his NASCAR and his motorcycles.”
The Cobb Police Department continues to investigate the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call 770-499-3987.