MARTA general manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker has died by suicide, MARTA announced.
MARTA released a statement saying Parker, 55, died by suicide late Jan. 14. The company asks the public to keep the Parker family in their prayers.
"As we struggle to understand the complexity of this tragedy, we grieve with and for his wife Erin, his daughters and all of Jeff’s family and friends as well as his MARTA family," MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott said. "As we continue to grieve, we want you to know that suicide is preventable and help is available to you."
With very heavy hearts, we share the news of GM/CEO Jeff Parker’s tragic passing on Friday evening, January 14, 2022. Please keep his family in your prayers and meditations. Jeff cared deeply about MARTA and his leadership gave us a strong foundation from which to carry forward.— CEOMARTA (@CEOMARTA) January 15, 2022
In the coming days, MARTA will announce transition plans, as well as provide grief counseling for its employees.
“Jeff Parker was a leader in our community that dedicated his life’s work to building better transportation systems," Mental Health America of Georgia’s Executive Director Abdul Henderson said. "On behalf of Mental Health America of Georgia, we send our deepest condolences to his family, and we mourn a true leader and innovator.”
Numerous elected officials have released statement with their condolences, including Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Governor Brian Kemp, Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts, Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman and the Atlanta city council.
"I am shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic death of my colleague and friend Jeff Parker," Dickens said. "Jeff understood that MARTA is more than just a transportation system — it represents connectivity for residents and visitors of our great city and region."
Marty, the girls, & I are saddened to learn about the tragic passing of Jeffrey Parker - GM/CEO of MARTA. In addition to a remarkable professional career in the public/private sectors, Jeffrey was known for his civic engagement and support for the advancement of his communities.— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) January 15, 2022
"The MARTA Board of Directors grieves the shocking death of our GM/CEO Jeff Parker who has died by suicide," Scott said. "He was an outstanding leader and steward of MARTA whose passing leaves us all heartbroken. As Chairwoman and on behalf of my fellow MARTA board members, we are devastated at this loss as we valued Jeff’s leadership and looked forward to him bringing his vision for transit to fruition. The entire metro Atlanta region owes him a debt of gratitude for his transformational efforts and we will not stop working to build on the foundation he created."
For access to services and immediate crisis help, call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7.