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Bridge Dedicated to Fallen Trooper

ELLENBORO – State Highway Patrol Col. Freddy Johnson, N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore, more than 50 troopers, and about 100 people gathered at Drury Dobbins Baptist Church on Saturday to honor a fallen family member.

They all consider themselves family of Master Trooper John S. Horton, who died tragically in the line of duty on Jan. 3, 2022.

N.C. Department of Transportation Board Member Billy Clarke emceed the event dedicating a bridge on N.C. 120 over U.S. 74 as the John S. Horton Bridge. Johnson and Moore each spoke for several minutes, offering their condolences and offering their support in any way possible.  

At the end of the ceremony, Clarke helped Ashley Horton-Hill and Horton’s six children unveil a ceremonial sign at the church, while NCDOT crews polished new green signs at both ends of the bridge in Rutherford County. 

“We recognize the importance of this bridge dedication to serve as a reminder of the perils every law enforcement officer faces, as well as John’s commitment to his community,” Johnson said. “The sign will be a continual and tangible symbol recognizing the sacrifice of a law enforcement officer and a display of what lengths we are willing to go to for the good of our communities. That’s exactly what John did.”

More than 50 people drove to the bridge after the ceremony to see the permanent signs.

“It is important that when someone pays the ultimate sacrifice that they be honored, they be recognized, they be memorialized, and the family be supported because they pay the price,” Moore said. “This is a small gesture the state can do to say ‘thank you’ and to not forget the sacrifice that this man and his family made for this state.”


8/26/2023 5:05 PM