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Wayne County Investigator Remembered As Hard-Working Friend, Co-Worker

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — A captain with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office was killed Wednesday evening after being struck by a car on N.C. 581.

The Sheriff's Office said Capt. Jerry Best, 49, had stopped to remove the remains of a deer from the middle of the roadway when a passing motorist struck him. The accident happened near Cherry Hospital around 7 p.m.

"He was conscious at the hospital. They worked on him continuously and they did as good of a job as could be expected. He passed away about two or three hours later. We were all there with him," Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said.

Friends remembered Best as a kind, hard-working individual.

"He could be a gentle giant with his tall stature and everything. He was just a good person. That's all there was to it," 911 telecommunicator Betty Smith said.

"He's easy-going, but when it's time to do the job, it's time to do the job," friend Mel Powers said. "He was very dedicated to his job. He was probably one of the first to get to work and one of the last ones to leave."

Winders said Best was a good man who will be missed.

"He was a good man and a good friend of mine. He did a great job for me at the Sheriff's Office," he said. "He will be missed, I'll tell you that. It's going to be hard to replace him."

Goldsboro Police are investigating. There is no word on charges against the driver.

Officials said the the stretch of road where the accident happened is known to be a deer haven. A sign warning drivers of the dangers sits just yards away from the accident scene.

Best was a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office and its chief investigator. Best would have celebrated his 49th birthday on Friday.

Visitation services will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Stoney Creek Church.