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Milton High principal steps down after DUI arrest | News

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Milton High principal steps down after DUI arrest

UPDATE: The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that investigators believe Buhl was involved in an additional hit and run accident. Deputy Robin Regan said that at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, July 26, Buhl sideswiped a vehicle while driving south on Georgia 400 near Pilgrim Mill. After that, Regan said, Buhl made his way to the neighborhood where he struck a parked car, then drove west into Cherokee County, and crashed into a tree

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- A metro Atlanta principal resigned Wednesday after being charged with DUI twice in one night -- in two counties.

Officials in Cherokee County say Nathan Buhl -- the brand, new principal of Milton High School in north Fulton County -- crashed his car on Cumming Highway and Old Mill Road on Saturday night, July 26. They say his vehicle matched the description of the one involved in a hit-and-run earlier that night in neighboring Forsyth County.

Witnesses at the Cherokee County wreck said they thought the driver had been killed. They said it was a wonder he didn't hit anyone before crashing into a tree.

Saturday night, Jennifer Copeland, her daughter Jaclyn, and Wendy Graham were just outside their church on Cumming Highway in Cherokee County when they heard a car roaring toward them from the east.

"And that's when we saw a car that had sparks coming out from under, and we just saw flames and it was weaving all over the road," Graham said.

"He looked like he was going 60 or 70 miles an hour and not slowing down," Copeland said. "We thought he was going to flip in front of the church."

Then, just after he passed them, the car left the highway and crashed into a tree in front of a house at Old Mill Road.

Police say Buhl had been driving drunk in both Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.

First, in north Forsyth County, at 9:42 Saturday night, police said Buhl struck a parked car in a residential neighborhood, but did not stop. Police said the car's owner was able to write down Buhl's license number as he drove away. One of Buhl's tires blew out -- he was driving on a bare metal rim, which explains the sparks and "flames" witnesses saw. Buhl drove west into Cherokee County and, 14 miles away from the hit-and-run, at 10:33 p.m., he crashed into the tree.

He was 16 miles from his home near Canton.

Hours later, in the hospital, police tested Buhl for DUI, and according to the Cherokee County Sheriff''s Office incident report, Buhl blew a 0.19 -- more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. But the results of blood tests will not be available for several weeks.

"That's scary," Graham said. "My child travels this road -- and I have a 17 year-old. He could have been traveling down the road at that particular moment. I would not want him to hit my kid head-on, or any other kid for that matter."

11Alive News was not able to reach Buhl for comment Wednesday.

Fulton County School Superintendent Robert Avossa emailed a statement to 11Alive News:

"I'm disappointed in the charges against Dr. Buhl, but believe he has done the right thing by stepping down as principal. He is taking responsibility for his actions and their consequences, and this sends the right message to the students and community we serve."

Charges against Buhl include DUI in each county, hit-and-run in Forsyth County, and reckless driving in Cherokee County.