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Beloved Deputy Sheriff and Dad of 4 Dies in Multi-Vehicle Crash: 'He Will Be Greatly Missed'

Chris Johnson, 51, was involved in a three-car accident on Tuesday afternoon in Lillington, North Carolina

<p>Harnett County North Carolina</p> Deputy Sheriff Chris Johnson

Harnett County North Carolina

Deputy Sheriff Chris Johnson
  • A North Carolina community is mourning the death of longtime deputy Chris Johnson, 51

  • Johnson died in a multi-vehicle accident on Tuesday afternoon while on the way home from his job at Highland Middle School

  • The veteran law enforcement officer leaves behind a wife and four children

A North Carolina community is mourning the loss of a “wonderful” deputy sheriff and father of four who died in a multi-vehicle accident on Tuesday.

Chris Johnson, 51, who served the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office and was a school resource officer, was on the way home from his job at Highland Middle School in Sanford when the crash occurred, ABC affiliate WTVD-TV reported.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office 911 Center received an emergency call regarding the collision on Darroch Road in Lillington just before 3 p.m., Sheriff Wayne Coats said in a statement on Facebook.

Upon arrival, first responders found three vehicles involved in the accident. Johnson died at the scene, while two other individuals were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Coats said.

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The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is now investigating the accident, per the sheriff’s office. As of Thursday, no charges have been filed.

State troopers told the news station that preliminary findings show Johnson crossed the center line and hit a semi-truck. Johnson’s vehicle then collided with the Dodge Durango, whose occupants were taken to the hospital.

The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured in the accident, according to WTVD.

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In the wake of his death, school district officials paid tribute to Johnson.

"Harnett County Schools is deeply saddened to hear about the death of Chris Johnson, a School Resource Officer at Highland Middle School," the school system said. "We appreciate Deputy Johnson's service to our students and staff. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”

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Another school where the longtime law enforcement officer worked at also shared its condolences.

“He was such a kind, wonderful man and he will be greatly missed,” South Harnett Elementary School said on Facebook.

An organization that assists law enforcement officials has established a GoFundMe to help support Johnson’s wife and children. As of Thursday morning, it has raised over $8,000.

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