RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Dozens of officers, troopers, deputies and other law enforcement personnel from agencies spanning different counties, even states, gathered on Isothermal Community College’s campus Friday to remember Trooper John Horton.
Horton was a man who so many people said was full of love, passion for his job and adored his family.
The words were difficult to come by for those mourning his loss.
“I think all week everyone is trying to find the words, trying to find the right things to say and it’s just hard to find,” said Sgt. Chris Knox with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
“It’s the saddest day, it’s been the saddest three days since this happened,” Rutherford County resident Pam Jones said.
The show of love for Horton was evident Friday.
“He was a very good friend of ours, a lot of our kids called him Uncle John and the Horton family, in general, are amazing people, everything he did was done in compassion,” said Jennifer Fredell-Saucier who is a friend of the Horton family.
That compassion will be missed by a lot of people.
Horton passed away after what the Rutherford County sheriff has called a tragic accident. He was detaining a driver on the side of a rural road and was hit by a state trooper coming there to help. That trooper was Horton’s brother.
“It’s devastating, it’s devastating what this family is going through,” said Fredell-Saucier.
Close family friend and wife of another state trooper, Fredell-Saucier said when she heard what happened, she was heartbroken.
The death is impacting the community and others outside the area.
“It’s just tough, tough for everybody, the whole county is suffering,” said Rutherford County resident Debbie Allen.
“That night, everybody that has been impacted, this is something we will carry with us for a very long time,” Sgt. Knox said.
Knox said they’re seeking comfort in one another, as Horton is remembered as a loving father, husband, brother and North Carolina State Trooper.
He is survived by his wife, Ashley and their six children.
A private graveside memorial service will be held at a later time for family and close friends only.