Local News

Franklin County Mourns Lost Deputy As Crash Investigation Continues

Posted May 16, 2004

— It has been an emotional few days for Franklin County deputies, who lost one of their own Friday in a helicopter crash.

Monday, they will attend the funeral and burial of Deputy Ted Horton. The funeral will be held at 3 p.m. at the Louisburg College Auditorium on North Main Street, and the burial will be at Bunn Cemetery off Highway 98 West immediately following the funeral.

Over the weekend, deputies joined investigators and combed through the wreckage of the crash that claimed Horton's life. They tried to figure out what brought down the helicopter, which was being used by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Horton died when the helicopter crashed in a wooded area near Louisburg. The pilot, Deputy Ben Barrick, escaped serious injury and was released from the hospital Sunday.

Horton left behind a wife, a mother and many nieces and nephews.

"He was always out there helping," said Ann Green, Horton's sister-in-law. "Cutting people's grass, doing things for neighbors -- just a wonderful person, wonderful family person, and we're going to miss him.

"We all loved Ted very much."

At the sheriff's office, the flags were lowered to half staff. Horton's patrol car also was put on display as a place where friends, family and people from the community could come by and leave flowers.

The sheriff's office started using the TH-55 helicopter a month ago. The county made a deal with Netstar Air Rescue Inc. to hire its pilot, Barrick, as a deputy. In exchange, the sheriff's office could use the helicopter and pilot to search for missing people or drugs.

Sheriff Jerry Jones said Horton spent hours of his own time learning about the helicopter.

Horton's family said he always went the extra mile when it came to work.

"He loved being a deputy," Green said. "It was something he very much loved, and I even had people tell me that he would come by and leave his card saying he had checked on their business -- things that he did extra."

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