Friends, family and state officials are mourning the loss of Jonathan Leonard, a Kentucky State Trooper who died in a car accident while on duty Tuesday night. Police tried to reconstruct the accident scene on Highway 119 Wednesday.
Trooper Leonard was a three year veteran of the K.S.P. Post in Pikeville. Wednesday, many remember him as a man committed to his community.
"He was an outstanding guy. He would do anything to help anyone," said Matt Hatfield.
Hatfield says his life long friend Jonathan Leonard has always been dedicated to his community. Leonard served Eastern Kentucky as a state trooper for three years and he was on duty Tuesday night when he lost his life.
Police believe Leonard was turning onto a median and didn't see the vehicle that hit him on U.S. 119. The preliminary investigation also revealed he wasn't wearing a seat belt.
"We're saddened by that. We appreciate our troopers. What we call our thin gray line that are willing to get out there and make this a safer state," said Governor Ernie Fletcher.
While many are left remembering Leonard as a friend and colleague, Governor Fletcher says it's important to remember the tremendous sacrifice state troopers make. Wednesday afternoon, state officials laid a wreath at the state capital in memory of Leonard and his service.
Hatfield says Leonard was his friend, his family. Memories and the loss of this man won't easily be forgotten.
"It's a feeling that you can't explain. It's like the bottom of your heart just falls out," Hatfield said.
Governor Fletcher has directed that flags at all state office buildings remain at half staff in honor of Leonard. Visitation is set for 5-9 p.m. Friday at Hatfield Funeral Home in Toler. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at New Belfry High School in Goody.
The driver of the other vehicle involved in Tuesday night's crash, Eugene Sisco Junior, is listed in serious condition at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.