RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Area law enforcement agencies are responding by offering their condolences and helping to patrol Knightdale after officials say a Knightdale policeman was killed by a drunk driver in a crash along Interstate 540 early Sunday.
Two Knightdale officers were responding to a single-vehicle crash around 2:30 a.m. when they were hit from behind by a man driving a Mercedes at mile marker 22, officials said.
Ryan Hayworth, 23, a three-month veteran of the Knightdale force, and member of the United States Army, was killed in the collision.
Hayworth’s training officer, Cody Hagler, was also seriously injured in the incident and is currently being treated at WakeMed.
Hayworth’s father, Tim, is the former Zebulon Police Chief.
The Knightdale Police Department draped black fabric over one of its SUV cruisers and placed a bouquet of flowers that was dropped off at the station on the windshield.
“We will forever be carrying Officer Ryan Hayworth’s legacy with us,” Knightdale police said on Facebook.
Zebulon police released a statement about the deadly incident:
The Zebulon Police Department mourns the tragic loss of Zebulon PD’s Retired Chief Timothy Hayworth’s oldest son Ofc. Ryan Hayworth, who was tragically killed this morning while on duty with the Knightdale Police Department.
We honor their tribute in service to the Zebulon community.
Our thoughts and prayers continue not only to the Hayworth family, but to the additional officer; Ofc. Cody Hagler who was also injured. The upcoming days and weeks will be hard not only for the families of these officers but also to those members of the Knightdale Police Department and surrounding agencies that assisted in the aftermath. We offer our sincerest condolences.
When tragedy strikes, faith is what makes things bearable. We will continue to be here to lean on during this significant time of need. That’s what the thin blue line signifies.
Zebulon Police Department
Morrisville police also responded with a statement that said in part:
Sending our prayers and condolences to the men and women of the @KnightdalePoliceDepartment, the Town of Knightdale, and the family of Officer Ryan Hayworth.
We are also sending prayers of healing to an additional Officer that was seriously injured.
RIP Officer Hayworth. We will take it from here.
Morrisville Police Department
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office also released a statement:
“The @WakeSheriff sends our condolences to @KdaleNC Police Chief Capps and the Knightdale Police Dept. following the death of Officer Ryan Hayworth. We’re thinking of the Hayworth family and wish for full recovery for Officer C. Hagler. We’re here for you. #OneWake”
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office also released a statement that in part read:
“DCSO sends their sympathy to the family, friends, and fellow officers at the #KnightdalePolice Department for the loss of Officer Ryan Hayworth.”
Knightdale police said other area agencies will be assisting with patrols in the town as they “continue to process this tragedy.”
Knightdale police chief Lawrence Capps released a statement about the deadly crash:
“Ryan’s loss in an indescribable tragedy for our department and our community,” Capps said. “The pain of his death felt the most by his family, friends, and those who knew him best. As we began the process of healing, we ask that you join us in a season of prayer for all of those who have been forever touched by this heartbreaking event.”