NC police officer killed in crash on duty
Highway Patrol officials cited "extreme speed" as a main contributor in the incident
Duty Death: Brent Nelson Hall - [Newton Grove, North Carolina]
End of Service: 04/03/2021
By Chris Berendt
The Sampson Independent, Clinton, N.C.
NEWTON GROVE, N.C. — Just a few months after he was hired as an auxiliary officer, Brent Hall, left, was introduced by Chief Greg Warren as a full-time officer with the Newton Grove Police Department at the end of 2019.
Brent Hall was sworn in as an auxiliary officer with the Newton Grove Police Department in July 2019. Here, he poses with his badge next to Police Chief Greg Warren.
A 26-year-old officer with the Newton Grove Police Department was killed in a Saturday night wreck while reportedly en route to the town for his shift. North Carolina State Highway Patrol authorities cited "extreme speed" as a main contributor in the incident.
Brent Nelson Hall, 26, of Rowan Road, Clinton, was reporting for duty in his Newton Grove Police vehicle, a 2018 Dodge Charger, when the single-vehicle collision occurred. It happened just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday to the intersection of U.S. 701 and Isaac Weeks Road.
Hall's police vehicle was traveling north on U.S. 701 at "a very high rate of speed," when it gradually traveled left of the turning lanes, across the center line and off of the left side of the roadway, striking a curb, causing the vehicle to go airborne. The vehicle struck two light poles and a guidewire, before coming to rest on all four wheels, facing east on Isaac Weeks Road, according to the Highway Patrol in Sampson's primary investigator, Sgt. D.K. Pearson.
Hall was not restrained, but was not ejected.
"This investigation is still ogoing," Pearson stated, "but extreme speed appears to be the main contributor at this time."
Hall was a Clinton native and a volunteer football coach for the Clinton High School Dark Horses. He served with the Clinton Police Department for several years before coming on as an auxiliary officer for the Newton Grove Police Department in July 2019. Just a few months later, Newton Grove Police Chief Greg Warren promoted Hall to full-time to fill a void in the department, and he had been serving in that capacity since November 2019.
Warren released a statement Saturday evening via the town and police department Facebook pages that read, in part: "Please pray for our Newton Grove Police Department, the Town of Newton Grove, and their families. We have lost one of our officers tonight in an accident."
Hall's name was not immediately released Saturday evening, out of respect for the officer's family, who was just receiving the news. Warren, in his statement, mentioned the officer's "selfless example of dedication and devotion to protecting us."
"Jesus, the Great Physician, the loss of life of one of our police officers is so very painful and devastating to endure. It can ravage a community for such a long time," the police chief said in the social media post. "I ask that You come and dwell in our midst. Let Your holy word be a healing balm that soothes our wounds and allows us to heal from the loss of this police officer. Help us to learn from his/her selfless example of dedication and devotion to protecting us. Let our memories of him/her not be ones of sadness for their loss, but of celebration of a life lived in the image of You. Amen."
Condolences poured in from across the community in the wake of the news, especially from other law enforcement agencies and emergency responders.
"Words cannot adequately describe the sorrow in the Sampson County law enforcement and emergency services community tonight," Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton stated in a post on his Facebook page. "I ask that you take a moment to say prayer for the family of the fallen Newton Grove Police officer who died in a car crash earlier in the evening. Also, please keep Chief Greg Warren and the other Newton Grove officers in your prayers as they carry on the mission of serving the citizens of Newton Grove during this difficult time."
(c)2021 The Sampson Independent (Clinton, N.C.)