NC sheriff’s deputy dies after fight against COVID-19, authorities say

North Carolina news

TROY, N.C. (WNCN) – A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy has died from the coronavirus, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office and a Facebook post by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriff Sypraseuth “Bud” Phouangphrachanh, 43, of Candor, died Tuesday night in the intensive care unit at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.

According to Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins, Phouangphrachanh was a 14-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and had previously served as a police officer with the Town of Candor.

Phouangphrachanh, affectionately known as Deputy Bud in the community, served as a School Resource Officer in Montgomery County.

According to a January 2019 Facebook post by Watkins, Phouangphrachanh was so well-liked at the school where he worked the students made Jan. 18, 2019, “Deputy Bud Day.”

Watkins said Phouangphrachanh was “known for his big smile, sense of humor and laughter.”

Watkins said that Phouangphrachanh had been suffering from allergy symptoms and received outpatient care before being tested for COVID-19 and beginning self-isolation in his home. He was admitted to the hospital on Monday before passing away the next night.

Phouangphrachanh is survived by a wife, five children, brothers, and an extended family, according to Watkins.

“Our deepest sympathy to our neighboring county, the officer’s family and law enforcement family at Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office,” the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, as well as the families of all those throughout this world who have endured the loss of loved ones in this crisis,” Watkins said.

There are at least 1,584 COVID-19 cases and at least nine deaths across the state, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments.

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