MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The overpass at Napier Avenue and Forsyth Road is being dedicated to a fallen Macon Police Officer, Donald J. Mander. His brother spent the last year trying to find the perfect spot to remind the community of his brother's legacy.
"Anybody knows when you put on your collar brass or badge that day you never know what might happen and Don didn't know that day that it happened to him," says William Mander.
Nearly 26 years ago, Donald was chasing a shoplifter on foot when he pulled a muscle in his diaphragm. He died from medical complications within two weeks after hospitalization, and just two weeks after the birth of his only son.
"It was sad, such a young life at the brink of possibilities," says Nancy White, Macon City Council.
White's helped William get city approval to dedicate a landmark last August. Nearly a year later they decided on the overpass.
"It's a reminder to us that when we honor one, all of them put their life on the line everyday and the ripple effect it has on their families," says White.
The effect for Donald's family was a life lost at 25 and a boy who grew up without a father, but William says he knows his brother wouldn't regret a single moment serving this community.
"He was a person that really loved the Macon Police Department, and the city of Macon he grew up in. If he to do it all over again, he would do the same thing."
The official dedication of the overpass will take place Friday May 18th at 11am in the auditorium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences.