ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the country came to Atlantic City on Monday to pay their final respects to a state trooper killed in a crash.
Police officers from as far away as Michigan were part of a huge contingent that filed past the casket of Trooper Frankie Williams as part of services in Boardwalk Hall.
The 31-year-old Williams, of Egg Harbor Township, was responding to reports of an erratic driver in Millville on Dec. 5 when the driver crossed a median and struck Williams' 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."
In August, Williams responded to a parking lot in Pilesgrove Township after a person reported a toy poodle was inside a vehicle with only one window open about an inch. The trooper saw the dog was lying on its side inside a crate and in obvious distress from heat stroke.
After breaking the window with his baton, he gave the dog water, and it was taken to a veterinary hospital in critical condition. The dog eventually became stable, and authorities charged its owner with animal abuse.
Williams got married in September and is survived by his wife, Kimberly Williams.
"We are devastated by his passing, but he can rest assured that we will embrace his family as they will always remain a part of our state police family," said Col. Rick Fuentes, the head of the state police.