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Macon architect Tinsley Matthews killed in wreck | Guestbook

Macon architect Tinsley Matthews was killed Tuesday when a motor home collided with his sport utility vehicle on U.S. 441 just north of Eatonton. He was 51.

Matthews, of DeLoach & Matthews Architects, was stopped to turn left from the northbound lane when a Mercury Marquis rear-ended his Toyota Highlander and pushed him into oncoming traffic, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said. Matthews then was struck by a Fleetwood motor home traveling in the southbound lane, he said.

Matthews was air-lifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he died of head and chest injuries, Putnam County Coroner Gary McElhenney said. He was pronounced dead at 12:19 p.m.

The driver of the motor home, Dennis Burleson, 61, of Marion, N.C., and the driver of the Mercury, Sarah Schuman, 79, of Putnam County, had no visible injuries, Sills said. Schuman later checked into Putnam General Hospital. Her status was unknown Tuesday evening. No charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is ongoing, Sills said.

Matthews was a second-generation architect who graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in industrial management and a Master of Architecture. He went on to work as a corporate architect for Charter Medical Corp., where he managed the company’s nationwide design and construction, and later joined Dunwody, Beeland, Azar, Walsh and Matthews Architects.

While at the Dunwody firm, Matthews played an active role in downtown development. The Peyton Anderson Community Services Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard may be one of his most recognizable designs, architect Gene Dunwody Sr. said.

“He was a talented and caring person,” Dunwody Sr. said. “He will be greatly missed in the community.”

Matthews worked on several early downtown development projects, including the Tic Toc Room, with architect Gene Dunwody Jr. and developer Tony Long.

Together, they also redeveloped about half a block on MLK from Cherry Street Lane to Poplar Street, Long said.

Eventually, Matthews broke out on his own and formed DeLoach & Matthews Architects, and he began to focus more on residential development, Long said.

He leaves behind a wife and two school-age children.

“Tinsley was just a very personable and likable person,” Long said. “We’re gonna miss the heck out of him.”

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 744-4345.

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