Cherokee County Mayor, Wife Die in 4-Car Crash

Cherokee County Mayor, Wife Die in 4-Car Crash

Authorities said Albert “Al” Pallone, a longtime mayor of Emerson, and his wife Camillia were killed in a four-vehicle collision late on Saturday afternoon in Cherokee County. Around 4 o’clock, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Capt. Jay Baker, Cherokee sheriff’s deputies responded to the collision along Knox Bridge Highway, east of Fields Landing Drive and not far from Canton.

In the other direction, a Hyundai Santa Fe and a Mazda 3 were struck by a Chevrolet pickup truck that had lost control while moving east on the highway, according to Baker. Al Pallone was operating the Hyundai at the time of the collision, which caused it to flip over and travel into the eastbound lane where it was struck by a GMC Savana van.

At the scene of the collision, which closed the roadway for almost four hours, Al, 65, and Camillia, 69, also known as Millie, were both declared dead. Al and Millie were “a staple of the Emerson community for nearly 40 years,” according to a statement from the city manager of Emerson, Bartow County, northwest of Atlanta, Kevin McBurnett, who called their deaths a “tremendous loss.”

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The GMC and Mazda drivers were sent to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with non-life-threatening wounds. William Bryan Abernathy, 50, of Calhoun, who was operating the Chevrolet, sustained injuries as well and was transported to an unidentified hospital.

He will be accused of driving under the influence, reckless driving, first-degree vehicular homicide, and serious vehicle injury. Al Pallone worked for the city of Emerson for 23 years, serving initially as a councilman and then, during the last 15 years, as mayor, according to McBurnett.

He added that Millie was always nearby to offer him encouragement and the basis for his effective leadership. “I want to send my sympathies to Al and Millie’s family and friends. Al and I had grown close friends in addition to working together, and I shall miss him. We appreciate you giving him to us, family. He improved Emerson, making it a better place.

The accident, which occurred a little more than a mile to the east of another multi-vehicle collision on Thanksgiving Day that killed 18-year-old Bryan College volleyball player Alivia Mynes and her father, 52-year-old Chris Mynes, received no further information.

Her mother and older sister both made it through with very minor wounds. When the Mynes was struck by a pickup truck on Knox Bridge Highway close to Scott Hudgens Drive, they were riding in an SUV. The crash has not been linked to any allegations.