RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – Funeral services were announced for the North Carolina State Trooper John Horton, who tragically died in a crash in Rutherford County this week.
The 15-year veteran leaves behind a wife and six children.
Trooper John Horton and a motorcyclist he had stopped for a traffic stop both died on Monday night when they were hit and killed by another trooper who was responding to the scene. That trooper, James Horton, is the brother of trooper John Horton, who died in the accident.
A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the body of fallen Trooper Horton on Friday at 11 a.m. The procession left Harrelson Funeral Services in Forest City, traveling to Isothermal Community College.
A public viewing for Master Trooper John Horton will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7. The viewing will take place at Isothermal Community College Foundation on Rapid Court in Forest City. Viewing will end promptly at 4:30 p.m. to allow for transition to the funeral service.
The body of Trooper John S. Horton will ceremoniously be carried by the North Carolina Troopers Association Caisson Unit around the ICC lake at the conclusion of the visitation.
The funeral service will begin at 5 p.m. at the same location.
The community and the Highway Patrol are heartbroken by Trooper John Horton’s death.
“It really shook me up. It really did,” said Tommy Baldwin, a friend of Trooper John Horton. “Then when I got out here, people coming in and talking about it.”
Baldwin says it’s been a somber day at his store, Earl’s Short Stop, and in this community.
“It’s been pretty somber, it has. Normally, you know, people coming in and out are always laughing and joking. It’s not quite that right now. Everybody is upset. People that knew him and people that didn’t know him.”
On Monday morning at the scene of the fatal crash, one woman brought flowers. A short time later, a man who went to school with Trooper Horton came and put up a cross.
On Monday afternoon, a long procession of law enforcement and other emergency vehicles from many agencies made its way to the Harrelson Funeral Home in Forest City to bring home the body of Trooper John Horton.
Many in the community came to show their respect with American flags, hands over hearts, and tears.
Horton, a 15-year Highway Patrol veteran, was a family man, and according to friends, a popular figure in this community.
“He was always friendly, he would speak to everybody in here and he was just one of the guys that when you came in, you were glad to see him. He would just brighten your morning just a little bit, that’s the way he always came across to me,” Baldwin said.
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