Highway names honor fallen troopers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Highway names honor fallen troopers

Col. Mark McDonough Col. Mark McDonough
Sgt. Gray's son, Joel Sgt. Gray's son, Joel
McDonough and Gray with State Rep. Gerald Greene McDonough and Gray with State Rep. Gerald Greene

The state is honoring four Georgia State Patrol Troopers killed in crashes in South Georgia years ago. Ceremonies were held Tuesday to name parts of two South Georgia highways after two of those troopers.

Since its inception in 1937, the Georgia State Patrol has lost 27 troopers in the line of duty. Now part of Highway 91 is named in memory of one of them, Sergeant Charles Gray.

GSP Troopers from around the state gathered at the Seminole County Elementary school auditorium to pay their respects to one of their own, Sergeant Charles Gray who was killed in a crash in 1961.

"We actually had three members of our department who had gone to Americus for training and were involved in an accident in Calhoun County which took initially the life of two of them and then the third one died of his injuries," said Col. Mark McDonough.

Sergeant Gray, along with Trooper Roy Massey and Trooper Harvey Nicholson who also died in the accident were assigned to Post 14 now in Colquitt. Highway 91 South from the Donalsonville City limit to the Florida State line will now be known as Sergeant Charles Eugene Gray Memorial Highway.

"No better fitting way than to do this because the roadway is where the troopers work and it brings attention to a difficult job and it brings attention to the sacrifices that are made," said McDonough. Gray's family, State Representative Gerald Greene and the DOT started working on the plan a year ago. The family picked a highway in Gray's hometown of Donalsonville. "Its representative of him to be here in this county for all of the citizens that he served to know and be honored and privileged to see it," said Sgt. Gray's son, Joel.

"It's really not to just memorialize these officers who have been killed, but to also let the families know that hey we do care," said GSP Capt. Buddy Johnson. Today's troopers say they may not have known Gray and the others personally, but that their legacy still lives on. "The reputation that our department has is built on the shoulders of men like the three that passed away in this automobile accident," said McDonough.

Late today a road dedication ceremony took place in Pavo for Trooper Massey. Trooper Nicholson's ceremony will take place Wednesday. A road dedication ceremony will also take place tomorrow for Special Agent Welton Harrell who was also killed in an automobile accident in Americus on his way to a shooting in 1964.

The State Patrol has honored 11 of its fallen officers so far and next year will ask the General Assembly to honor the others.


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