FRANKLIN COUNTY, GA (FOX Carolina) Funeral details have been announced for a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy who died Sunday night.
Deputy William “Bill” Garner died after a late night crash. The driver of the vehicle that hit him has since been charged.
The coroner confirms Deputy Garner was killed while on duty on I-85. Sheriff Stevie Thomas says Garner was just doing his job: serving.
Garner was responding to a crash Sunday around 7 p.m., helping people on the scene near mile marker 164. Sheriff Thomas says a car traveling southbound lost control before striking Garner, who was outside of his patrol car.
The sheriff says Garner will killed instantly.
“He was a team player and loved law enforcement. He loved doing traffic,” said Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas.
Thomas knows what it’s like to lose a loved one, and hopes his words will help the family during this time of mourning. He says in 2014, his son was killed working while on duty, also serving on I-85 during a crash.
“It’s hard to do, but you’ve got to go forth and you have to remember the good things,” said Sheriff Thomas. “My heart is also out to the family of the man back here in jail. I know he didn’t get up yesterday morning and say I’m going to wreck someone today. My prayers are for him too.”
The driver charged is 21-year-old Abdulhafiz Abdullahi. He’s facing first degree vehicular homicide. Georgia State Patrol continues to investigate.
Deputy Garner worked with Franklin County for just over a year. He leaves behind his wife of 13 years, his parents, and a brother.
On Tuesday, the sheriff's office announced the following funeral arrangements:
- Visitation will be Friday, July 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Smith's Funeral Home in Winder.
- Funeral will be Saturday, July 25 at 2 p.m. at Bethlehem Church, located at 548 Christmas Ave, Bethlehem.
- A police escort will meet at Smith's Funeral Home at noon on Saturday to accompany Garner's family to the church.