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Retired educator injured in wreck
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Three people were extracted from their vehicles and airlifted to Atlanta following a wreck in Dawson County June 16.

According to Billy Thurmond, director of Dawson County Emergency Services, the two-car accident happened shortly after 4 p.m., June 16, in front of the North Atlanta Golf Cars business on Hwy. 53 E., near the Dawson/Forsyth line. All three were flown by helicopter to trauma centers in Atlanta, he said.

Charles and Kathy Finley, both of Dawsonville, were driving westbound in a 2008 Toyota Avalon when Mickey Bunton, of Gainesville, traveling east, drove his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado off the road and onto the shoulder. He then overcorrected and crossed into the opposite lane of traffic, according to the Georgia State Patrol. The two vehicles met head-on. Buntons Silverado came to a rest in the westbound lane, while the Finleys vehicle drifted into a ditch next to the westbound lane.

The GSP reported that Charles Finley had non-fatal injuries to his lower extremities, including two broken legs and a broken right arm. Kathy Finley was also transported from the scene, with non-identified injuries.

Bunton had non-fatal injuries to his abdomen and pelvis.

The Finleys were flown to Grady Hospital, and Bunton was flown to Atlanta Medical Center, Thurmond said.

A representative from Atlanta Medical Center confirmed that Bunton is still a patient at the facility.

According to close family friend Ted Bearden, who had spoken with the Finleys son Ben, Charles Finley had undergone at least two surgeries for internal bleeding as of June 19.

No charges have been filed in the incident, according to the GSP.

Charles Finley is a retired Dawson County school teacher who spent more than 42 years in the school system. He was Superintendent Keith Porters third grade teacher.

His care for children has been something to behold through the years, as he has served the children of Dawson County as a teacher and media specialist, said Porter.

Finley also collected and printed the basketball history of the school system, then followed up that work with a book on the history of the Dawson County school system.

He made sure that the

legacies of the past have been documented for future generations, added Porter.

Finley was also instrumental in starting the Dawson County Jaycees, according to another lifelong friend, Gordon Pirkle. We chartered the Jaycees 4 years ago, said Pirkle. In the second year, Charles was elected to be the Jaycees state vice president, which was unheard of to have somebody go to the state level.

Childhood friend Ted Bearden, and owner of Beardens Funeral Home, said, I remember when he helped his mother with the laundry and ceramic shop which was across from the school. Certainly he taught all those years and the students absolutely adored him. I would go to his class from time to time and play old folk type songs for his classes, and he would use it as a teaching experience ... I have known Cathy since they married and she has helped to provide music for the funerals of many, many people.

Publisher/editor Kimberly Boim contributed to this story.

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