LUDOWICI, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Transportation and Georgia leaders presented a sign to the family of former police chief Frank McClelland, Jr. on Monday.
Both McClelland and Marvin Pope were hit and killed after a high-speed chase last year.
Leaders renamed a piece of Highway 84 after McClelland. From now on, when people drive from Liberty County to the Ludowici city limits, they’ll be driving along the Chief Frank McClelland, Junior Memorial Highway.
The deaths hit the small town hard. McClelland was well known throughout the community. Now, a year and one day later, he may not be here physically, but his legacy throughout the community will never die.
“I know he’s smiling down from heaven, and he’d get choked up and say, ‘y’all don’t have to make no big deal out of it. It ain’t no big deal,’ but I am truly honored that this road has been named after him," said Cindy McClelland, Frank’s widow.
Cindy McClelland says she is still grieving and still healing - a process she says will take some time.
“It’s very emotional, and it will be for years to come. I miss him every day, and like she said last night, he was the love of my life and we were married almost 42 years, like in one week.”
Former coworkers, law enforcement, Georgia officials, friends and family filled the room as they paid their respects to McClelland and honored him and the time he spent serving the public.
Congressman Buddy Carter says his memories with McClelland were always great ones.
“My greatest memory with him was came coming through Ludowici and getting stopped. I remember having to call the chief and say, ‘chief I’ve got a problem here, and it worked out," the congressman said.
His wife says McClellan was a man of integrity and a friend to everyone. She says all of the support has helped her make it day after day without her other half.
Sunday night, the town of Ludowici held a vigil in his memory.
“I could cry my heart out, but God gets me through it," Cindy said. “He’s gotten me through this first year and he’ll continue to be there with me. He’s just one of kind. They don’t make men like him anymore.”
Former Chief McClelland was hit and killed last year after a high-speed chase. Police say was trying to stop 23-year-old Daniel Hill when the crash happened.
McClelland was a lifelong resident of the Long County and retired from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department as a lieutenant with 21 years of service.
He ended his watch as the Chief of Police for Ludowici one year ago this Sunday.