Cherokee County

Georgia mayor, wife killed in Cherokee County crash, suspect arrested for DUI

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Longtime Emerson Mayor Albert ‘Al’ Pallone and his wife, Millie, died in a four-vehicle crash on Saturday in Cherokee County.

It happened on Knox Bridge Highway near Canton. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said they responded to a four-car crash Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

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A Chevrolet pick up truck was traveling east on Knox Bridge Highway when officials said the driver lost control. The driver crossed the centerline hitting the Hyundai Santa Fe Pallone was driving that was traveling westbound.

The collision caused the Hyundai to lose control, overturn, and travel into the eastbound lane where it was then hit by a GMC Savanna van. The Chevrolet truck also hit a Mazda 3 that was traveling west. Pallone and his wife Millie were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Mazda 3 and the driver of the GMC Savanna were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Chevrolet pick up, William Bryan Abernathy, 50 of Calhoun, was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless driving, first degree vehicular homicide, and serious injury by vehicle. Abernathy was also injured and is currently receiving treatment at a local hospital.


On Sunday, Emerson city manager posted the following statement:

Al was a proven leader serving the citizens of Emerson as a city councilman for 23 years with the last 15 years as Mayor. Millie was always near providing him support, the framework to his strong leadership.

I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Al and Millie. In addition to working together, Al and I had become good friends and I will miss him. To his family, thank you for sharing him with us. The City of Emerson is a better place because of him.

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