A ‘powerful, but somber scene’ as fallen Trooper Williams is laid to rest
ATLANTIC CITY — State Police officer Frankie Williams is being laid to rest Monday with a funeral at Boardwalk Hall. A viewing will be followed by a funeral at noon and a private burial.
Hundreds of his fellow troopers stood in formation in the morning on the wet boardwalk and marched one-by-one inside to pay their respects. A tweet from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management described it as a "very powerful yet somber scene."
The funeral service began at noon and was closed to the media at the family's request. The burial in the Mays Landing section of Hammonton will also be private.
Following the funeral, a hearse carrying Williams followed by a van holding his family and a motorcycle procession moved slowly along the boardwalk. New Jersey State PBA President Patrick Culligan tweeted about the service, "We stood shoulder to shoulder, no tears from the sky could stop our commitment to remember," Cullilgan said.
Tracy Padulo on her Facebook page wrote that "driving to work today, there was an endless line of police cars with their lights on driving to the service of a fallen fellow officer. So sad and heartwarming all at the same time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family and friends today. May they somehow find peace."
Police officers from as far away as Michigan were part of a huge contingent that will file past the casket of Trooper Frankie Williams as part of services in Boardwalk Hall.
Gov. Chris Christie, who ordered state offices to fly flags at half-staff on Monday in Williams' honor, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are expected to attend the services.
South Jersey Congressman Frank LoBiondo tweeted he was also at the service "celebrating his unwavering dedication in service to our community." State Senate president Steve Sweeney extended condolences to State Police and Williams' family via a tweet.
Boardwalk Hall in a tweet extended its "deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and all those who serve."
The 31-year-old Williams, of Egg Harbor Township, was responding to reports of an erratic driver in Millville last Monday night when that driver crossed the median and struck the officer's vehicle head-on, state police said.
Williams died at a hospital. The driver who struck him, 61-year-old Lloyd Rudley, also was killed.
Trooper Cara Spinosa, who graduated with Williams from the State Police Academy in January, said Williams was a genuine guy and "no matter what, he always had our back."
Williams was killed a week ago when a Toyota Corolla driven by Dr. Lloyd Rudley, traveling southbound on Route 55 in Millville, crossed the grass median and went onto the northbound lanes, hitting Williams’ marked cruiser head-on.
Williams was responding to the report of an erratic driver that turned out to be Rudley.
Rudley was pronounced dead at the scene, according to State Police, who have not said what led Rudley to drive in such a fashion
Williams got married in September and is survived by his wife, Kimberly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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