Hundreds gather to honor Knightdale officer killed in crash

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On Wednesday night hundreds came together to remember Knightdale police officer Ryan Hayworth.

Hayworth was killed responding to a call on I-540 Sunday morning. At the vigil, Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps said the other officer injured, Cody Hagler, was out of the hospital. 

At 23-years-old, Hayworth already lived a life of service. He joined the Army National Guard at 18, serving in Kuwait and later closer to home in Hurricane Ida. 

Then three months ago he joined the Knightdale Police Department. 

“Ryan was a third-generation police officer,” said David Hayworth, Ryan’s uncle.

David Hayworth is a former Hope Mills Police Chief. Ryan’s father, Tim Hayworth, is a former Zebulon Police Chief. 

“I’ve been keeping it together good until today when I see him at the funeral home,” David explained.

Ryan’s family, friends, and brothers and sisters in law enforcement are devastated. 

“Ryan’s goals were a career in law enforcement, he did not wish to try it out or do it for a little while, Ryan knew he was fearfully and wonderfully created for a life of service,” said Captain Andy Murr, Raleigh Police Department. Captain Murr was closer with Ryan. 

Ryan was training with officer, Cody Hagler. They were pulled over, lights on, when investigators said a driver plowed into them from behind. Ryan was killed. Two drivers along with Hagler were injured. 

“We love you; we’re praying for you, and we are wishing you, the speediest of recoveries,” Chief Capps said.

“Ryan had a huge impact on a lot of people,” Dalton Parrish, Ryan’s roommate and best friend said. “I couldn’t stand going home and walking past his room, you know just knowing that he wasn’t there anymore,” he continued.

Troopers are investigating and said speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

The driver who caused the crash remains in the hospital and hasn’t been charged. 

Officer Hayworth will be laid to rest on Friday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Hayworth’s funeral expenses.

Also, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Hagler’s medical expenses.

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