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Rabun County detention officer dies in accident that 'should never have occurred'

Rabun County Sheriff Chad K. Nichols said Courtney Zajdowicz, 26, was a "super friendly person with an incredible personality."

RABUN COUNTY, Ga. — A 26-year-old detention officer in Rabun County died this week in an accident that Sheriff Chad K. Nichols said "should have never occurred."

The sheriff did not go into detail on how the accident occurred, but said Courtney Zajdowicz was on her way to the Rabun County Detention Center for work when it occurred.

Nichols described Zajdowicz as a "super friendly person with an incredible personality" who had a contagious smile and would "always bring laughter to everyone around her."

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Credit: Rabun County Sheriff's Office

"The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, the family of blue, and all partner agencies across the entire southeast region of our great nation are mourning the loss of one of our own. As I have sat in front of this computer last night and today trying to find the perfect words, I have finally decided there is no perfect words for this situation," Sheriff Nichols wrote on Facebook. "It’s a tragic situation that should have never occurred."

Nichols said flags will be lowered to half-staff at the sheriff's office "in memory of a great person, great officer and a great friend."

A law enforcement escort was set to bring Zajdowicz's body back from the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta Friday morning. Information on services for the detention officer has not yet been announced.

"The next few days will be difficult for many, and our hearts will be heavy. We ask that you keep her family and her family of blue in your thoughts and prayers during this time," Sheriff Nichols wrote.