Hero Down: Cartersville Police Officer Sara Beth Barnes Killed In Crash
Dallas, GA – Cartersville Police Department (CPD) Officer Sara Beth Barnes died in a three-vehicle crash on Jan. 30.
The 32-year-old, off-duty officer was driving her 2011 Kia Sorrento eastbound on Highway 6 at approximately 5:30 p.m., when she suddenly swerved into the median, overcorrected, and veered back into the eastbound lanes, The Daily Tribune News reported.
Officer Barnes again overcorrected and crossed into the westbound lanes, and into the path of a 2018 Jeep Renegade, which slammed into the passenger side of her car.
A 2012 Ford Fusion then crashed into the back end of the Jeep, The Daily Tribune News reported.
Officer Barnes and the 74-year-old driver of the Ford were rushed to WellStar Paulding Hospital.
The 33-year-old driver of the Jeep was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.
Officer Barnes was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The conditions of the other two drivers are unknown.
“The Cartersville Police Department wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family of Officer Sarah Beth Barnes, Badge # 189,” the CPD said in a Facebook post on Friday. “Officer Barnes was a valuable member of our team, community, and she will be sorely missed. Please keep Officer Barnes’ family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Officer Barnes joined CPD approximately two years ago, Cartersville Police Chief Frank McCann told The Daily Tribune News.
She also picked up extra shifts serving as a school resource officer at Cartersville Elementary School and Cartersville Primary School.
“Her care for our students and staff was evident in the way she always took the time to get to know them," school district spokesperson Cheree Dye told The Daily Tribune News. "Her friendly demeanor and dedication to the security of our schools provided our students with an exceptional representation of a law enforcement officer. Her presence will be deeply missed in our primary and elementary school community."
Chief McCann said that Officer Barnes’ “experience and maturity” will be missed by the CPD and the community.
In addition to her work as a law enforcement officer, Officer Barnes also served in the Navy Reserves from 2015 until 2019, according to her obituary.
"When I think of Sarah Beth, I think of what a wonderful mom she was, worked very hard, taking extra jobs to give her five kids a good life," Cartersville Police Captain Mike Bettikofer told WAGA.
Her friend, Matthew Goss, said that Officer Barnes strived to be an advocate for victims and to make a positive impact on her community.
“It’s what she’s always done in her service to the Navy and service to law enforcement,” Goss told WAGA. "The world is a little bit darker right now, but I think heaven is a little bit brighter.”
“In her short time on earth, Sarah served her community and her country,” her obituary read. “She made a difference in the lives of others and was committed to a life in service of others. Sarah was passionate and lived life fully. She had a colorful personality, was fun to be with and was devoted to her family.”
Officer Barnes leaves behind her husband, Steve, and her children, Alexis, Grace, Hayleigh, Skylar, and Braden.
She is also survived by her parents, stepmother, siblings, step-siblings, grandparents, and many friends and extended family members.
A fundraising campaign established to help Officer Barnes’ family in the wake of her sudden death has raised over $6,400 so far.
Officer Barnes was laid to rest on Monday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cartersville Police Department Officer Sara Beth Barnes, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.