23-Year-Old Officer Killed While Helping Citizen Who Crashed Car: ‘An Indescribable Tragedy’

A police officer in Knightdale, North Carolina, died during a car crash along Interstate 540 on Sunday morning, ABC 11 reported.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:40 a.m. on eastbound I-540 close to the Buffaloe Road exit, the outlet continued:

Officers, including Ryan Hayworth, 23, were investigating a single-car crash in the area when another car crashed into the back of the officers’ patrol vehicle. Hayworth, a three-month veteran of the force and former member of the US Army, was killed in the collision. Hayworth is the oldest son of retired Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth.

The other policeman with Hayworth, Officer Cody Hagler, was seriously hurt. He was transported to a hospital and received treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

The Knightdale Police Department detailed the incident in a press release shared on Facebook:

Posted by Knightdale Police Department on Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Ryan’s loss is an indescribable tragedy for our department and our community,” Chief Lawrence Capps stated.

“The pain of his death felt the most by his family, friends, and those who knew him best. As we begin the process of healing, we ask that you join us in season of prayer for all of those who have been forever touched by this heartbreaking event,” Capps added.

The driver involved in the initial crash, and the driver who crashed into the two officers, were both seriously hurt.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is currently investigating the wrecks, and troopers noted alcohol was believed to be involved in the crash that killed Hayworth and injured Officer Hagler.

“Final charges are pending, awaiting the conclusion of the investigation,” the ABC report said.

In a subsequent post, the department told residents area police departments would be providing assistance:

As we continue to process this tragedy, other area Police Departments are providing us a helping hand. Be advised that you may see units from surrounding jurisdictions assisting with patrols in Knightdale.

Posted by Knightdale Police Department on Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Be advised that you may see units from surrounding jurisdictions assisting with patrols in Knightdale,” the post read.

Meanwhile, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office expressed its condolences.

“Our agency has experienced the same emotions that they are right now and we understand their hurt,” authorities said in a Facebook post:

Sheriff Keith Stone and the members of the Nash County Sheriff's Office wish to extend our condolences and prayers to…

Posted by Nash County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Please continue to pray for them during this difficult time and in the days to come for which they will have to endure,” it concluded.

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