RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Law enforcement agencies in the area are responding by offering condolences and helping patrol Knightdale after officials say a Knightdale police officer was killed by a drunk driver in an accident along Interstate 540 early Sunday.
Two Knightdale officers were responding to a single vehicle crash at around 2:30 a.m. when they were struck from behind by a man driving a Mercedes at kilometer 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 a black cloth over one of its passenger vehicles and placed a bunch of flowers left at the station on the windshield.
“We will carry Constable Ryan Hayworth’s legacy with us forever,” Knightdale Police said on Facebook.
Zebulon Police released a statement on the deadly incident:
Zebulon Police Department mourns the tragic loss of retired Zebulon PD chief’s eldest son, Timothy Hayworth, 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 days and weeks ahead will be difficult not only for the families of these officers, but also for members of the Knightdale Police Department and surrounding agencies who have provided assistance into the next day. We offer you our deepest condolences.
When tragedy strikes, faith is what makes it bearable. We will continue to be there to support us during this time of great need. That’s what the thin blue line means.
Zebulon Police Department
Morrisville Police also responded with a statement that read in part:
We send our prayers and condolences to the men and women of @KnightdalePoliceDepartment, the Town of Knightdale and the family of Constable Ryan Hayworth.
We also send prayers for healing to another officer who was seriously injured.
RIP Hayworth Officer. We’ll take it from here.
Morrisville Police Department
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office also released a statement:
“The @WakeSheriff sends our condolences to Chief of Police @KdaleNC Capps and the Knightdale Police Department following the death of Constable Ryan Hayworth. We think of the Hayworth family and wish Constable C. Hagler a full recovery. We are here for you. #OneWake “
Knightdale Police said other agencies in the area would assist patrols in the city as they “continue to deal with this tragedy.”
Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps released a statement on the fatal crash:
“The loss of Ryan was an indescribable tragedy for our department and our community,” Capps said. “The pain of his death was felt most by his family, friends and those who knew him best. As we begin the healing process, we ask you to join us in a time of prayer for all who have been touched forever by this heartbreaking event. “