N.C. trooper crashes at traffic stop, killing his brother — a fellow trooper

Trooper James Horton lost control of his vehicle, striking Trooper John Horton, police said

Duty Death: John Horton - [Rutherford County, North Carolina]

End of Service: 01/03/2022


By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — A state trooper and a civilian motorist were killed in a car crash that involved the trooper’s brother — who is also a state trooper, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

It happened just before 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, at a traffic stop in Rutherford County, southeast of Asheville.

Trooper John S. Horton died after he was struck by another trooper who was responding to assist him on January 3, 2022.
Trooper John S. Horton died after he was struck by another trooper who was responding to assist him on January 3, 2022. (North Carolina State Highway Patrol)

Investigators identified the trooper who died as John S. Horton, a 15-year veteran assigned to Rutherford County.

The identity of the civilian driver has not been released as of Jan. 4.

Horton died when his brother, Trooper James N. Horton, was responding to assist him in a traffic stop near the intersection of High Shoals Church and Goodes Grove Church roads, officials said.

“Trooper James Horton lost control of his vehicle upon approaching the traffic stop,” officials said.

“James Horton collided with the stationary patrol vehicle and subsequently struck Trooper John Horton and the detained driver who were standing along the roadside.”

John Horton died after being taken to a hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina, officials said.

The detained driver died at the scene.

“Trooper James Horton was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries and has since been released. The two involved troopers are brothers,” state officials said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Details on road conditions were not released, but the crash happened after a day of snow, sleet and quick-dropping temperatures in the mountains.

“Our hearts are broken with the loss of our friend and our brother, Trooper John Horton,” State Highway Patrol Commander Col. Freddy L. Johnson Jr. said in a news release.

“For all involved in this tragic event the coming days will undoubtedly be difficult, but we are committed to stand alongside with them with our thoughts, prayers and unwavering support.”

©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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