N.C. trooper John Horton remembered as someone who ‘would brighten your morning’

15-year veteran leaves behind wife, six children
Trooper John Horton was a 15-year Highway Patrol veteran.
Trooper John Horton was a 15-year Highway Patrol veteran.(Submitted photo)
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:41 PM EST
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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A North Carolina State Trooper 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.

The 15-year veteran leaves behind a wife and six children

“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.”

Honoring a fallen NC Trooper
‘Our hearts are broken’: NC trooper, driver struck, killed by trooper’s brother during traffic...
‘Our hearts are broken’: NC trooper, driver struck, killed by trooper’s brother during traffic stop(Family photo)

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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