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A two-vehicle accident on Ben Hall Lake Drive near Dublin in Laurens County Tuesday morning claimed the lives of the husband and toddler daughter of The Union-Recorder Editor Natalie Davis Linder.

Shawn Linder and the couple’s 1-year, 10-month-old daughter Bella were killed when Linder’s 2005 eastbound Cadillac CTS collided with a westbound 2001 Ford F-350 truck at 6:41 a.m., according to the Georgia State Patrol report of the accident.

The truck driver, Justin Hobbs, 25, of East Dublin, survived the crash.

Linder, 42, was a popular special education teacher at the Johnson County Middle School and also coached varsity football and basketball at the high school. Both schools are located in Wrightsville.

The public school system said in a statement that Linder’s “death is a loss to our school and community. He was a Johnson County alumni, husband, father and brother. He loved kids and was a friend to all. Please keep Natalie, Brayden (the couple’s 3-year-old son), and the entire family in your prayers.”

Sgt. Lee Weaver, assistant post commander with the Georgia State Patrol post in Dublin, said Linder and his daughter were pronounced dead at the scene by Laurens County Coroner Richard Stanley. He said they were wearing seat belt and car seat restraints. The truck driver wore a seat belt restraint, said Weaver.

Weaver provided this account of the accident: “While negotiating a left curve, his (Linder’s) vehicle traveled off the roadway to the right. And as he regained control, he over corrected his steering and as the vehicle re-entered the roadway, it traveled into the westbound lane,” colliding with the oncoming truck.

Keith Barlow, publisher of The Union-Recorder, said the newspaper’s staff was “deeply saddened” by the accident. “Shawn and Bella were extensions of our newspaper family. Our prayers are with Natalie, Brayden and all the members of her family. I know they will find comfort in their faith in God.”

Celebration of life homegoing services will be held Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Johnson County High School Gym, 150 Herschel Walker Way, Wrightsville, GA. Burial will take place at the Swainsboro City Cemetery. Services have been entrusted to Dudley Funeral Home in Dublin. 

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