State Highway Patrol Member Dies During Traffic Stop

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, NC (January 4, 2022) — A preliminary investigation has revealed that on Monday, January 3, at approximately 8:58 p.m., a member of the State Highway Patrol was struck by a responding Patrol member during a traffic stop at High Shoals Church Rd. and Goodes Grove Church Rd. Trooper James N. Horton was responding to assist with a traffic stop being conducted by Trooper John S. Horton when Trooper James Horton lost control of his vehicle upon approaching the traffic stop.  Trooper James Horton collided with the stationary patrol vehicle and subsequently struck Trooper John Horton and the detained driver who were standing along the roadside.

Trooper John Horton, a fifteen-year veteran assigned to Rutherford County, was transported to a Spartanburg hospital where he died of his injuries.  The detained driver, who has yet to be identified, was pronounced deceased 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.

“Our hearts are broken with the loss of our friend and our brother, Trooper John Horton” said Colonel Freddy L. Johnson Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol.  “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.”

Further information regarding the ongoing investigation should be directed to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.  Additionally, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit is assisting with the investigation.