FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County plans to rename four roads to honor public safety personnel who have died in the line duty.
The changes, which were approved by the county commission in a 5-0 vote at a recent work session, were chosen with input from the families of the deceased. They will not require the county to change a large number addresses, but all have some connection to the fallen.
Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills worked on the project with Sheriff Duane Piper and Fire Chief Danny Bowman.
“I reached out, starting last May, to [them],” she said. “[We were] looking at how many people this would affect and how many deceased we had and how would we structure this and where there any precedents that had already been set.”
Plans call for roads to be named after Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cantrell and Reserve Deputy Larry Mulkey, as well as firefighters Allyn Lane and Dennis C. Martin.
A section of North Old Atlanta Road from Hutchinson Road to Hwy. 9 will be renamed “Larry Mulkey Memorial Road,” and North Old Atlanta between Hwy. 9 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard will be renamed “Bill Cantrell Memorial Road.”
Cantrell and Mulkey were killed during a 1972 traffic stop near the road.
Cantrell’s widow, Joann Cantrell Atcheson, was present at the event, along with then-Sheriff Don Pirkle.
“I just want to thank you very much for even considering it,” she said. “It’s a great honor to our family. It will mean a lot to my children and grandchildren, and a great tribute to Bill’s memory.”
The currently unnamed road off of Settingdown Road, at the east entrance of Coal Mountain Park, will be named “Dennis C. Martin Memorial Way,” while the unnamed road in Shady Grove Park will be “Allyn Lane Memorial Way.”
Lane died in 1975 and Martin in 1984, with both deaths the result of car accidents en route to their respective fire stations to respond to calls.
Mills said the parks were chosen for the firefighters due to them having family that currently lives or once lived near the parks.
“In all the families that I talked to, I did not understand how much it meant to the families until I talked to them and saw how much it touched their heart,” Mills said. “I wish that it hadn’t taken so long to get it done, but I’m thankful that we’re doing it.”
Mills said there also is an effort under way by members of the local state legislative delegation to name the intersection of Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) and Market Place Boulevard after Sheriff’s Sgt. David Land, who died in a 2003 motorcycle crash.