MAURICE RIVER TOWNSHIP — A room of more than 150 family, friends, politicians, state troopers, other law-enforcement officers and firefighters attended a ceremony Tuesday to honor fallen Trooper Frankie Williams.

The township presented Williams’ mother, Victoria Williams, and family with the official declaration naming a section of Route 55 the Trooper Frankie L. Williams Memorial Highway.

Williams, 31, of Egg Harbor Township, died Dec. 5, 2016, in a head-on crash while responding to a call about an erratic driver on Route 55. The crash happened near milepost 22.2.

The Trooper Frankie L. Williams Memorial Highway was designated with signs at mileposts 20 and 23 on the north and south sides of the highway.

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land, all D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, got the official declaration to pass the state Legislature. All three of them attended the ceremony at Leechester Hall and spoke.

“There is nothing any of us can do to replace what we have lost ... but we try,” Van Drew said. “That is what this is about.”

Van Drew called Williams a “bright, young, articulate, energized individual.”

The Williams signs are on the highway to recognize someone who was exceptional, Van Drew said.

“(Williams was) an individual soul, an individual man who truly represented American exceptionalism ... someone who would stand up to protect all of us,” Van Drew said.

Thousands of people driving to and from South Jersey during the summer vacation season will pass by the signs honoring the late trooper, Land said.

“It is a tribute to this great, fallen hero and everything he accomplished in his short time here,” Land said.

Andrzejczak, who served in the military, thanked Williams’ family for encouraging him to pursue his dream of being in law enforcement.

“His memory will never go away. He will always be remembered for his bravery and his sacrifice,” Andrzejczak said.

Mayor Patti Gross told those gathered that without law enforcement, there is no peace in our communities.

“Our troopers are professional and community-oriented,” said Gross, who thanked all the municipalities who contributed money for the signs’ creation.

Before the ceremony started, Victoria Williams, of Atlantic City, said that to have her son honored in this way and to have part of Route 55 dedicated to him brings her back to life.

“His (Trooper Williams’) brothers will be traveling down that road, so it helps them as well,” Victoria Williams said.

Victoria Williams said she can’t kiss and hug the legislators enough who were able to have a section of road dedicated to her son.

“God has been good to me,” she said.

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Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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