Emerson, Georgia mayor and wife dead after traffic accident

A north Georgia city mayor and his wife were involved in a car crash over the weekend, allegedly involving a DUI driver, that ended in their deaths.  

Local news 11Alive reported that the multi-car collision took place in Emerson, Georgia around 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Deputies from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a four-car collision on Knox Bridge Highway, just east of Field Landing Road.

According to the sheriff’s office, Calhoun resident William Bryan Abernathy, 50, was operating a Chevrolet pickup truck when he lost control and crossed the center line, colliding with a Hyundai Santa Fe moving the other way. Both the Hyundai’s 65-year-old mayor and 69-year-old wife, Camillia Pallone, perished in the collision.

Kemp “heartbroken” over accident

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) responded to the news with a statement, saying that his family is “heartbroken,” over the accident.

“Marty, the girls, and I were heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of Mayor Al Pallone and his wife, Camillia, last night,” Kemp said in a tweet. “They will be deeply missed by their loved ones and the community that they served so well.

“Please join us in praying for their family during this time,” the Georgia governor said in his Sunday tweet.

According to officials, Pallone’s car lost control, flipped over, and was hit by a GMC. The Mazda 3 was also hit by the Chevrolet.

More condolences

“Al and Millie have been a staple of the Emerson community for over 40 years,” the city manager Kevin McBurnett said in a statement on social media.

“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,” he added.

Abernathy was detained and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, first-degree vehicular homicide, and significant vehicle injury. He sustained injuries in the accident and is currently undergoing care at an unnamed neighborhood hospital.

Both the Mazda 3 and GMC Savanna drivers were sent to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with non-life threatening wounds.

Bartow County, roughly 40 miles northwest of Atlanta, is where Emerson is situated.

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