Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice P. Harris Hines dies in car crash

The Georgia Supreme Court announced this morning that former Chief Justice P. Harris Hines, 75, was killed in a car crash near downtown Atlanta on Sunday afternoon. His wife, Helen Hines, was in the vehicle and survived the accident, officials from the court said. (Special Photo)

ATLANTA — Officials with the Georgia Supreme Court announced this morning the sudden passing of its former chief justice.

Former Chief Justice P. Harris Hines, 75, was killed Sunday afternoon in a car crash on I-85 North near downtown Atlanta.

“We are all shocked and devastated,” Chief Justice Harold D. Melton said in a special statement. “Former Chief Justice P. Harris Hines was a giant of a man. Because of the love he so freely extended to others, he was loved and cherished by every member of this Court, by our staff, and by just about every person who ever met him.

“For me personally, he was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. My heart is broken. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife, Helen, their son and daughter, and their families.”

Hines, had retired from the court at the end of August after more than 50 years practicing law and serving as a judge in Cobb County and on the state’s highest court. He participated in the swearing-in ceremony for Melton when he became chief justice in September.

His wife, Helen Hines, was with her husband in the car and survived the crash.

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