Memories of a retired Cedartown High School teacher were shared last week at the monthly meeting of the Cedartown City Commission less than 12 hours after a tragic wreck took his life.
George Wheeler, 65, was driving his GMC Sierra pickup truck north on Chestnut Street in Cedartown on Monday, Nov. 8, when he failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of West Girard Avenue, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
As he traveled through the intersection, a Ford F-150 pickup truck belonging to the city of Cedartown was traveling east on West Girard and struck Wheeler’s truck in the driver’s side causing it to overturn.
Wheeler was treated at the scene by Redmond EMS and taken to Polk Medical Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after 9 a.m. by the attending physician in the emergency room, according to Polk County Coroner Norman Smith.
The driver of the Cedartown work truck, which was occupied by city employees, was taken to the hospital and checked out. He was later released.
Wheeler taught at Cedartown High School until his retirement in 2009. Members of the Cedartown City Commission offered prayers for his family and remembered the educator for his time and dedication.
“George Wheeler was a teacher at the high school when I was there. I did not have the pleasure of having him as a teacher. I wish I had, but I did know him. If you went to Cedartown high school, you knew who he was. You always saw him in the hallway,” Commission Chairman Andrew Carter said.
“It’s just a huge heartbreak”
Cedartown City Manager Edward Guzman spoke about Wheeler during his manager’s report at the meeting, recalling how he had singled him out in class one time.
“I had him in high school for several years, and it hit me pretty hard this morning,” Guzman said.
“To me at the time it was embarrassing, but he kind of stood up in the classroom, in this technology class we had, and he pointed me out to everybody in the class and said, ‘Mr. Guzman, he’s going to be somebody someday. I’m telling you all that right now.’ So, it hurts. He was a great man, a great teacher, and a community leader. So we’ll be praying for his family, for (his wife) Frankie.”
Funeral services were held Sunday, Nov. 14, at Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church in Brundidge, Alabama.