P HARRIS HINES 15.jpg

Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harris Hines has died.

Hines was killed in an automobile crash Sunday. According to family members, Hines and his wife Helen were on Interstate 85 heading back to Cobb from Newnan Sunday afternoon, where they listened to their 8-year-old granddaughter Edie sing in the Newnan First Methodist Church choir.

No other vehicles were involved in the wreck and the two were the only ones in the vehicle.

Initial reports suggest the vehicle left its lane and the vehicle flipped. Justice Hines was reportedly driving. Family said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Helen Hines was taken to Grady Hospital and treated for minor injuries. Family members said she was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday night.

Hines was born Sept. 6, 1943 and grew up in Atlanta, the son of Edith and Ruben Hines, a schoolteacher and a flour salesman.

Hines attended Grady High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He went on to enroll at Emory University, initially planning to study medicine, but later deciding upon a career in law.

Hines retired from the state Supreme Court at the end of August after serving as a judge since 1974, when he was appointed to Cobb's State Court in 1974 by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter.

Former Gov. Zell Miller appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1995, and was elected Chief Justice by his colleagues in 2016. He was the first Cobb resident to attain that position.

His fellow justices and other court officials said they were in shock at the loss.

"He was a great man," said Justice David Nahmias.

“He only just retired,” said Georgia Supreme Court Public Information Officer Jane Hansen. “He was so beloved by everyone on the court… Everyone is in a state of shock and devastation.”

This is a developing story. Check back with www.mdjonline.com for updates as information becomes available.

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