31-Year-Old Rookie Officer Died in Highway 55 Head-On Collision in December
Legislation Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Gordon Johnson, Bruce Land and Bob Andrzejczak sponsored to honor the memory of State Trooper Frankie Williams, who in December was tragically killed in the line of duty, gained Assembly approval on Thursday.
The bill (A-4542) would designate a portion of State Highway Route 55 as the “State Trooper Frankie L. Williams Memorial Highway.” A member of the 156th New Jersey State Police class, Williams had been on the force for less than one year at his time of death.
“Trooper Frankie Williams was a dedicated Atlantic County public servant who pursued a career in law enforcement and made the ultimate sacrifice while working to protect the people of New Jersey,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Every time anyone drives down Route 55 near his home, they should think of Trooper Williams and how many lives he touched in just 31 years.”
“New Jersey lost one of its native sons, and Victoria Williams lost her only son in December,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “There is nothing we can do to stop the pain of that loss, but we can act to ensure Trooper Frankie Williams is never forgotten. It is right and fitting to rename a portion of this road in his honor.”
“Trooper Williams made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the people of New Jersey, and we have an obligation to honor him,” said Land (Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Renaming a part of Route 55 as a tribute to Frankie Williams is a good way to pay homage to him while also reminding drivers to act with the selflessness and courage he embodied.”
“When Trooper Williams died, we all were reminded of how much danger New Jersey’s law enforcement officers face every day, whether they’re responding to routine calls or life-threatening emergencies,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Our state must memorialize the life of Frankie Williams, a dedicated public servant who lost his life while working to keep New Jersey safe.”
Williams, who was born in Atlantic City and graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University, died after a vehicle crossed the median on Dec. 5 and struck his cruiser head-on on Route 55. Williams was responding to calls about an erratic driver of a vehicle that matched the description of Lloyd Rudley’s red Toyota Corolla. Rudley, the other driver in the crash that killed Williams, was pronounced dead at the scene. Williams was taken to Cooper University Hospital after the crash and was pronounced dead at the hospital that evening.
The measure gained unanimous Assembly approval. It now awaits further Senate consideration.