FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. — Law enforcement from across the region gathered in Franklin County Monday to pay tribute to a sheriff's deputy who was killed Friday in a helicopter crash. Meanwhile, there are still plenty of questions about exactly what happened.
Family and friends paid their final respects to Ted Horton and his family. Horton was described as a giving man who lived to serve and a former truck driver who loved racing and flying.
"If Ted could say something to us today about his death, he would say, 'I died happy. I died doing what I loved to do,'" said Pastor Steven Wade, of Popular Springs Baptist Church.
Horton died Friday when the TH-55 helicopter he was riding in crashed outside of Louisburg. The pilot, Deputy Ben Barrick, survived and is out of the hospital. Barrick is part of a nonprofit group, Netstar Air Rescue, which owns the helicopter.
The Franklin County manager said it appears both men were off-duty at the time of the crash, meaning liability is up to Netstar. Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones said it may be a complicated issue because he said the deputies reported they were looking for a suspected marijuana field.
In addition, investigators with the Federal Aviation Admininistration have not been able to confirm whether Barrick has a valid pilot's license. Barrick has told the sheriff that he does have a valid license.