Deputy Sheriff James "Bart" Hart Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama End of Watch: Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deputy Sheriff James Elmore County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

Deputy Sheriff James "Bart" Hart

Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama
End of Watch: Sunday, November 23, 2014

Biographical Info

Age: 50
Tour of Duty: 2 years, 6 months
Badge Number: Zebra 6

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: November 23, 2014
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Killed in crash

Agency Contact Information

Sheriff Bill Franklin
Elmore County Sheriff’s Office
8955 U.S. Highway 231
Wetumpka, AL 36092
Phone: (334) 567-5546

Deputy Sheriff Bart Hart was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on on Firetower Road, near Marshell Road in Wetumpka, at approximately 7:45 pm.
He had just cleared the scene of another accident and was traveling south when the other vehicle crossed the center line at a high rate of speed and struck his patrol car. Despite wearing his seatbelt, Deputy Hart suffered fatal injuries. Three of the four 16-year-old occupants of the other car, including the driver, were killed in the crash. The fourth occupant suffered life-threatening injuries.
Deputy Hart had served with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office for 2-1/2 years after retiring from the Montgomery Fire Department. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Funeral arrangements are now set for an Elmore County Sheriff’s Deputy who was among four people killed in a head-on collision Sunday night near Wetumpka. Visitation for Deputy James Bart Hart will be held Tuesday, Nov. 25, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Thelma Baptist Church. Funeral services will take place Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 11 a.m. at the same location. Burial will follow at Central Baptist Church Cemetery with Gassett Funeral Home presiding.
Hart started his career as a Montgomery firefighter in 1986. He retired as a lieutenant in May 2010. He later joined the Elmore Co. Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Hart, 50, leaves behind his wife, Charlotte, Lanier Hart, daughter, Christina Nicole Hart, parents, Ray and Jo Hart, and brother, David Hart.
Because he died as the result of an accident, Deputy Hart’s family will receive benefits from the Public Safety Insurance Fund. [Learn More]
Funeral plans are not yet available for Austin Ryan Augustine, Dylan Adler Bieber, and Hoyt Elliot Hardin, each 16-years-old and of Wetumpka.
Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin says the crash happened around 7:45 p.m. Sunday on Firetower Road when Augustine’s 2003 Infinity G35 collided head-on with Hart’s 2013 Elmore County Sheriff’s Office Dodge Charger patrol car. The cause of the crash is not known at this time. Alabama State Troopers and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate.
The lone survivor of the crash, 16-year-old Nicholas Benjamin of Eclectic, was the third passenger in Augustine’s vehicle. He, along with Deputy Hart, are said to be the only people who were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Benjamin was transported by medical helicopter to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery where he is said to be suffering from serious injuries. 
"There are no words to describe this devastating loss here in our community. Our prayers and support are with the families and friends of all the victims of this unimaginable tragedy," said Elmore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Langham.
On Monday night, the Wetumpka High School gym was used as a gathering place for students, teachers and members of the community. A large crowd came together to remember the lives of those lost. 

"It’s devastating. I can’t believe it. They were my best friends. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them," said Cody Hering. "I know they’re looking down on us, thanking us all for being here. Hoyt loved lifting weights. He was a catcher on the baseball team. Dylan was a one of a kind guy. And Austin, he just loved playing basketball. I remember just going out in his front yard and playing with him."

Counselors and youth ministers from Elmore County and across the region are offering comfort to those grieving. Several ministers spoke at the remembrance, encouraging students to lean on each other for support.

"This is a tragic event for our system, most definitely Wetumpka High School," said Mark McGhee, Counselor Coordinator for the Elmore County School System. "Part of it is most definitely getting them around their peers where they can talk. They can talk about memories. They can remember the good time and cope together."

The fatal crash is another huge blow for Wetumpka High School. Several months ago, sophomore Shalom Nowden drowned while swimming with friends in Corn Creek. Before that, Jody Sanford passed away from a longtime health condition.

"Losing one is too many and we’re going to hopefully come together as a family and try to work through this. It’s going to be tough but we’re going to find a way to do it as we always do. My heart just goes out to the families and all the family members in this tragic loss," said Wetumpka High School Principal Robbie Slater.

Grief counseling will continue to be made available to students and staff at the school.


1 Response to “Deputy Sheriff James "Bart" Hart Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama End of Watch: Sunday, November 23, 2014”

  1. 1 Mary Anderson November 26, 2014 at 06:52

    My Condolences to Deputy Sheriff James “Bart” Hart family

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