Large procession, funeral held for Clayton firefighter who died from COVID-19

Johnston County News

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Monday, the Town of Clayton honored fallen firefighter Jason Dean with a day of remembrance. Dean, a deputy fire chief, died after a month-long battle with COVID-19.

Hundreds of fire trucks and emergency vehicles took part in a 13-mile procession that began at 8:30 a.m.

Town officials described it as a “massive” event with possibly 500+ firefighters and first responders from around the state and beyond with 250+ fire/emergency trucks.

Traffic was stopped for the procession and town officials said it took more than an hour to pass.

People were encouraged to line the streets or pay their respects from 10 a.m. until noon at Fire Station One.

Dean was laid to rest during a private service Monday afternoon.

The route for the procession began at McLaurin Funeral Home on U.S. 70 Business West, where dozens of fire trucks assembled as early as 7 a.m. at the Walmart, town officials said.

The route continued down U.S. 70 to Powhatan Road to N.C. 42 East to Main Street and then returned back to Clayton Fire Station One.

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Also, Main Street from Robertson Street to Central Avenue was blocked to all traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

After stopping at Fire Station One from 10 a.m. to noon, the procession restarted at 12:30 p.m. and headed to Maplewood Cemetery.

The procession will travel up Robertson Street, turn right on Main Street, travel to Lombard, and then take Lombard to Regency Drive and into Maplewood Cemetery. Main Street will be shut down from Robertson to Lombard during this procession.

Out of respect for Dean and so that his fellow coworkers can pay their respects, all Clayton town facilities will be closed until 1 p.m. Monday, officials said.

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