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First visitation held for fallen deputy

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

People filed in by the hundreds to tell Deputy James Thacker, "thank you," for his service.

Thacker was killed, Monday night, when police say an SUV hit him head on. The other driver, David Childers, was taken to Pikeville Medical Center for treatment, and has since been released.

Thacker now lies at the Community Funeral Home where people came to pay their respects, many of whom had never met the deputy.

"There was quite a crowd here, and I expect that to grow," said Eric Johnson of the Supporting Heroes Foundation.

"It's a very sad thing when something like this happens, especially when it's a deputy that's trying to protect us," added Creg Damron, a local man who came to share his sympathy.

The Pike County sheriff says losing Thacker will be felt across the department and the county. Although, he says the support shown during this time has been a big blessing.

"[There's been] Tremendous support, and we certainly thank all of the people that have given the Sheriff's Department and James and my family support," said Sheriff Charles Keesee.

"When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, it affects police all around because everyone knows it could've easily have been one of them," said Johnson.

Johnson went on to say the law enforcement community will not let the family mourn alone.

"They're part of a bigger family and they all (law enforcement officers) mourn with them," added Johnson.

While Deputy Thacker is gone, the legacy he leaves will carry on in the hearts and lives of those who love him.

A second visitation will be held on Thursday, from 9 am to 11 pm, at the Community Funeral Home. His funeral is set to be held at East Ridge High School at one Friday afternoon.

Sheriff Keesee expects more than a thousand people will attend the funeral, along with law enforcement agencies from across the state to come and pay their respects to a fallen brother.

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