LEESBURG, Ga. -- The Lee County Sheriff's Department announced Tuesday that Highway 32 from Lovers Lane Road to Walnut Avenue in Leesburg will be closed to thru traffic from noon to approximately 3:30 p.m. today due to the funeral service of Marine Lance Cpl. Steve Sutton.
Sutton, 24, who joined the Marines in 2009 and was attached to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division, was killed in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan during combat operations over the Memorial Day weekend.
His funeral service is set for 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Leesburg with interment to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery on Dawson Road in Albany.
Sutton's body is scheduled to leave Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors at noon, with the procession turning left on to Edgewood Drive, then right onto Third Avenue and left on Slappey Drive. The procession will travel U.S. 19 north to Leesburg, turning right, crossing the railroad tracks then onto the church.
At between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., Sutton's body will be taken from the church and the procession will travel down Main Street to Walnut Avenue then south on U.S. 19 to Third Avenue, then to Dawson Road and on to Crown Hill.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office is encouraging people to start lining the roadside from McDonald's in Leesburg south to Albany and to the gates of Crown Hill.
The American Legion Post 30 is asking the public to spread out along the route. Post 30 representatives will be distributing American flags on eight-foot poles every 150 feet on both sides of the highway and streets.
They will begin distributing the flags at 1:30 p.m. in Leesburg and will retrieve them from immediately behind the procession as it makes its way to the cemetery.