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. A man who so many people told 7 News was full of love, passion for his job and adored his family.
The words, difficult to come by.
“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, its been the saddest three days since this happened,” Rutherford County resident Pam Jones said.
The show of love for Trooper John Horton though was anything but.
“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,” Jennifer Fredell-Saucier said who is a friend of the Horton family.
That compassion will be missed by a lot of people.
Trooper John 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, Jennifer Fredell-Saucier said when she heard what happened, she was heartbroken.
So is this community and beyond.
“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.
But Sgt. Chris Knox said they’re seeking comfort in one another, as Trooper 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.