Franklin County, GA – Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Deputy William “Bill” Garner was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, after a driver crashed into him as he was helping victims at the scene of another collision.
The 53-year-old deputy arrived at the scene of the initial crash on Interstate 85 near mile marker 164 at approximately 7 p.m. on July 19, WHNS reported.
As Deputy Garner was assisting the occupants inside the crashed car, the driver of a southbound 2018 Honda Accord suddenly lost control of his vehicle, according to the Georgia State Patrol (GSP).
The Honda crossed over the median and slammed into Deputy Garner, who was outside of his patrol vehicle at the time, WHNS reported.
Deputy Garner was rushed to St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The driver of the vehicle who hit him has been identified as 21-year-old Abdulhafiz Tawfik Abdullahi, WHNS reported.
Abdullahi has been charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, and additional charges are pending, according to WHNS.
Details regarding the circumstances of the crash have not been released.
The GSP’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal collision.
Deputy Garner served with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Jefferson, Norcross, Duluth, Braselton, and Pendergrass before he joined the FCSO just over one year ago, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“He was the type of guy who you’d want right there to help you, cause he tried to do everything he could,” Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas told WYFF. “He was a team player, and he’s going to be missed by a lot of folks.”
Deputy Garner leaves behind his wife, parents, and brother, WHNS reported.
He will be laid to rest on Saturday, the FCSO said in a Facebook post.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of @FranklinCoSO Deputy William Garner who was killed in the line of duty. May God grant him eternal peace. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/mIkTHIHDYJ
— NYPD Chaplains Unit (@NYPDchaplains) July 20, 2020
GBI employees line up outside of our Headquarters facility to view the police escort for Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy William Garner. Last night, Deputy Garner was on duty performing a traffic stop when he was struck by another vehicle.
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) July 20, 2020
We want to lift of the family of friends of Deputy Bill Garner and the Franklin County Sheriffs Office. Deputy Garner lost his life last night while on duty. Rest In Peace brother we have it from here.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God pic.twitter.com/6BR54JZ480
— barrow.county.sheriff (@barrowcountysh1) July 20, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy William “Bill” Garner, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.