By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Father of girl killed in White County wreck partners for driving course
Group urges teens to put on the B.R.A.K.E.S.
cecily hamilton
Cecily Mccree Hamilton

Teen proactive driving school

What: Defensive driving training

When: 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., today and Sunday

Cost: Free, with $99 deposit for reservation

Where: Atlanta Dragway, 500 East Ridgeway Road, Commerce

Contact: Visit for more information and registration

A White County man whose daughter died this year in a car crash has partnered with another group for free defensive driving courses this weekend.

Cecily Mcree Hamilton, 16, and driver Taylor Scott Swing, 18, of Cleveland, died March 15 in a wreck on Gene Nix Road in Cleveland when the car went off the shoulder and submerged in a creek.

Cecily’s father Shannon Hamilton made national news when White County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested him as he tried to put up concrete barriers at the crash site in April. The charge of felony interference with government property was later dropped.

Now, Shannon Hamilton is partnering with the nonprofit Put on the B.R.A.K.E.S. — Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe — to offer free defensive driving courses today and Sunday.

“They put you in situations where you’re going to lose control, but they teach you the tools that you need ... to give you the best opportunity to regain control,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said he reached out to the nonprofit’s founder Doug Herbert, whose two sons died in 2008, to get the ball rolling.

The course involves a wet skid pad and other roadway distractions to give teenage drivers the skills to be on the road.

Hamilton highly suggested the course to parents with teenagers getting behind the wheel.

“They grew up differently than we did,” Hamilton said. “They didn’t have the dirt roads that we had growing up to learn how to counter steer and keep control of the vehicle.”

Hamilton’s three children will take the four-hour course Sunday, he said. The White County father said his son recently avoided injury when coming from on a snow day.

“He went into a curve with snow and he lost control. He had no idea what to do,” Hamilton said.

The class runs from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. today and Sunday at Atlanta Dragway, 500 East Ridgeway Road in Commerce. The class is free but requires a $99 deposit to secure a spot.

Drivers need to have a permit or driver’s license, at least 30 hours of driving experience and a parent with them at the event.

Regional events