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Fallen deputy honored in county-by-county escort

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

The loss of Deputy James Thacker may have happened in Pike County but other deputies in other counties say it's their loss, too.

Standing outside of a Montgomery County funeral home, silence hung heavy. Inside the home, Deputy Thacker waited to be taken home.

Deputy Thacker was killed in the line of duty, Monday night, when police say an SUV driven by David Childers crossed the road and hit Thacker's car head on.

Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee says the county lost a great man, "We could call on him anytime and he would never, ever complain," said the sheriff.

"It's going to be a great loss to Pike County and the community around us."

Thacker was taken to Frankfort for an autopsy, but he was never alone. Fellow Pike County deputy, Robert Marble, was by Thacker's side the entire time.

"I'm honored that I was chosen. It's a privilege," said Deputy Marble.

But even Deputy Marble wasn't alone on this leg of the trip.

"We have decided to provide an escort all the way back to Pike County to honor the officer," described Deputy Michael Townsend of the Powell County Sheriff's Office.

Officers from several different agencies, across several different counties, took part in an escort to pay their respect to a man they never met, but one they call a brother.

"Regardless of where we work, what department we're with or what color uniform we wear, it's a brotherhood. We help each other, we stand by each other," said Deputy Townsend, "and it's just a tragedy."

"It's an honor as I said before, but I hope I never have to do this again," added Deputy Marble.

When the escort began, there was no pageantry, no music, no sound, just a focus on honoring a man who gave his life in service.

The investigation into the accident continues, and no charges have been filed against the other driver, at this time.

The visitation for Deputy Thacker begins at 6:00pm Wednesday at the Community Funeral Home in Pikeville. The Funeral is set for Friday afternoon at 1:00 at East Ridge High School.

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