A Calhoun man, William Bryan Abernathy, 52, will serve 10 years in prison followed by 20 years of probation after pleading guilty this week to charges related to a 2022 car crash in Cherokee County that killed the mayor of Emerson and his wife in 2022.

Abernathy pleaded guilty in a negotiated plea to first degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving and driving under the influence.

The four-vehicle wreck occurred Dec. 10, 2022 on Knox Bridge Highway, east of Fields Landing Drive near Canton.

Emerson Mayor Albert Vito Pallone, 65, and his wife, Camilla “Millie” Pallone, 69, died and two other people were seriously injured in the crash.

In addition to his prison sentence, he is ordered to pay fines, and probation conditions upon release include evaluation and treatment for substance abuse, avoiding drug and alcohol use, 120 hours of community service, a DUI risk reduction program, and surrendering his driver’s license.


An accident over the weekend in Cherokee County, Georgia took the life of a northwest Georgia mayor and his wife and the Georgia State Patrol has charged a fifty-year-old Calhoun man with vehicular homicide in connection with that fatal crash.

The accident on Saturday afternoon in Canton, took the life of Emerson Mayor Albert Pallone, age 65, and his wife, Camilia Pallone, age 69.

The Georgia State Patrol says William Bryan Abernathy of Calhoun, was arrested and charged with first degree vehicular homicide, and serious injury by vehicle, DUI and reckless driving. Abernathy was also injured and is receiving treatment at an undisclosed local hospital.