A NORTH Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper accidentally killed his police officer brother and a suspect after he lost control of his car and crashed into him Monday night.
Trooper John Horton had been conducting a traffic stop in Mooresboro at around 9pm officials say.
His brother and fellow Trooper James Horton was responding to a request to assist when he lost control of his vehicle.
James's squad car slammed into his brother's parked cruiser, hitting John and the detained driver, who were standing nearby along the side of the road.
John was rushed to Spartanburg hospital, where he passed away from his injuries, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.
The detained driver, identified as Dusty Luke Beck, died at the scene.
James Horton was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.
Local news outlets reported clear conditions in the region at 9 PM around the time of the accident, but an inch of rain had fallen earlier, with the temperatures slipping into the low 30s by nightfall.
Untreated roads may have been made slick by ice under such conditions, but investigators could not immediately discern the exact cause of the incident.
John Horton was an esteemed 15-year veteran of the department.
Friends and peers expressed their sadness over the news of his passing.
“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.”
No charges have been filed.
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