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Hall County Sheriff’s Office will close for service of lieutenant killed in head-on crash
31-year veteran remembered as 'dear friend'
Stephanie Hollingsworth
Hall County Sheriff's Office Lt. Stephanie Hollingsworth was killed Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020 in a crash on Ga. Highway 11 in Clermont, authorities say.

Update, 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28: 

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office will close its precincts, headquarters and jail lobby for six hours Wednesday, Sept. 30, so that members can attend Lt. Stephanie Hollingsworth’s celebration of life service. 

The facilities will be closed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

“The closure will not affect law enforcement service in the county,” the Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. “As always, citizens in need of law enforcement assistance may contact Hall County 911/Central Communications.” 

911 should be used for emergencies, and non-emergency calls can be made at 770-536-8812. 

Update, 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22: 

Hospital officials said Tuesday, Sept. 22, Tony Hollingsworth, Lt. Stephanie Hollingsworth’s husband, was in “satisfactory” condition. 

Georgia State Patrol has not released any new information on the case since Monday. 

“This is still an active investigation, so no charges have been made,” assistant post commander Sgt. C.E. Parker wrote in an email. 

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date at Free Chapel, according to Hollingsworth’s obituary. Hollingsworth was “an adventurer and an explorer” who like to travel to new countries and hike, the obituary says. 

“With a brilliant mind and a heart full of soul, it was impossible not to be impacted by her,” Hollingsworth’s obituary reads. “We will all miss her smile, her love of family, and the happiness she brought to all of us. Stephanie loved her family and the concept of the word family. She truly believed in the meaning of family. To her, family was more than immediate relatives. It was her close friends. Stephanie brightened every room with her smile.” 

Little and Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory is handling the arrangements. 

Original story: The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of one of its lieutenants, who was killed in a head-on collision on Ga. 11/Cleveland Highway near Green Circle on Sunday, Sept. 20, according to authorities.  

Stephanie Hollingsworth, 52, was a passenger in one of the vehicles and pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck near Clermont just before 7 p.m. on Sunday. Hollingsworth was the sheriff’s office lieutenant over the Office of Professional Standards, according to Hall sheriff’s Lt. Greg Cochran. 

Sheriff’s Office retired Capt. Brad Rounds said the two came along at the same time at the department, becoming friends for more than 30 years. 

“Sometimes we’d argue, and the next day we’d be laughing and cutting up just like real friends do,” Rounds said. “I think the hardest thing for me is probably (Sunday) night whenever I was told she had died in the car crash is I’m never going to get to see her again. You take that for granted with your friends that you see every day, and that really hit hard.” 

Cochran said Hollingsworth served for 31 years and transferred to the Office of Professional Standards in 2019. She had two Sheriff’s Office commendations in 2014 and 2019. 

Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard said Hollingsworth was a perfect fit in the Office of Professional Standards given her nature to dive into a subject matter and strive for the best. 

“She was a dear friend and coworker for more than three decades,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. 

A 16-year-old Hall County girl was driving a Ford Ranger northbound on Ga. 11 when the vehicle started heading off the east shoulder and the driver overcorrected, according to Georgia State Patrol Post Commander Auston Allen. 

Ga. 11 is also known as U.S. 129 in certain areas, running from Clermont through Southeast Hall. 

Allen said the Ranger crossed the center line and struck a Subaru Forester head-on in the southbound lane. 

The driver of the Subaru Forester, Tony Hollingsworth, 62, of Gainesville, and the 16-year-old driver sustained injuries and were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The 16-year-old driver has not been identified by law enforcement. 

Hollingsworth was a passenger in the Subaru. 

Allen said all three people were wearing their seatbelts, and alcohol and drugs are not suspected in the wreck. Charges are pending in the case, he said. 

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office also shared its grief on social media shortly after news of Hollingsworth’s death.  

“It is with great sadness that the men and women of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office send their heartfelt condolences to the family of our colleague and friend, Lt. Stephanie Hollingsworth, who was killed in a traffic accident on Sunday evening,” a Facebook post from the office reads.  

“We will miss her dearly and offer our prayers and complete support for her family,” Couch added in the post. 

The sheriff’s office social media announcement says Hollingsworth began her career at the office in 1989 as a secretary and “has been a fixture at the agency ever since.” The post says she was promoted to supervisor of the agency’s records office in 1993 and graduated from the police academy later that same year. 

Hollingsworth spent 26 years of her 31-year career in the records office, while also serving as the primary Georgia Crime Information Center Terminal Agency Coordinator for the agency, according to the Facebook post.  In August 2002, she was promoted to sergeant and then lieutenant In June of 2008.  

“Please join the Hall County Sheriff’s Office family in its prayers and support of Lt. Hollingsworth’s family, some of whom suffered injuries in the accident,” the Facebook post reads.  

When the sheriff’s office was moving toward putting in-car computer terminals for patrol deputies, Rounds, Hollingsworth and others traveled to other agencies to find the right fit for the department. 

“You thought you knew somebody for 25 years, but once you get outside of those four walls of the sheriff’s office, you really see what people are like,” Rounds said. “The trips that me and her had taken together to check the new computer systems, I really found out what she was all about and what really a great person she was, how fun she was.” 

Woodard said she had known Hollingsworth since Woodard’s time as a defense attorney before her career in the solicitor’s office. She called Hollingsworth “an integral part of our accountability court programs working with community policing and participants.” 

Accountability court programs are court-based initiatives for people charged with criminal offenses to find rehabilitation without incarceration. 

“She’s just an amazing example for all of law enforcement but particularly for young women in our area to think about a career in public safety,” Woodard said. 

Gainesville Police retired Capt. Chad White, who graduated from Johnson High School with Hollingsworth, said he will remember her for her “servant’s heart and a beautiful smile.” 

White said she was a great asset to both Gainesville Police and the Sheriff’s Office, someone the police department could reach if they needed any help with records. 

“She was always there willing to help all those that needed help. For me, I’m still just shocked by the loss of her,” White said. “Not only was she a colleague and a friend but being a classmate as well.” 

The sheriff’s office says arrangements for Lt. Hollingsworth are “incomplete at this time.” 

State Patrol did not release any new details on the case Monday evening.