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Hero Down: Franklin Co. Deputy William ‘Bill’ Garner Killed By Car While Investigating Crash

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 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.

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Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Avatar Written by Holly Matkin

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