MACON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A member of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office who lost his life in a crash was laid to rest Wednesday. The strong outpouring of support for Sgt. William Cherry, as well as his family and fellow law enforcement officers, during the fallen deputy’s funeral showed how much of a pillar he was in the community.
Cherry was killed in an on-duty crash on Saturday, July 29. Officials said a 2013 Ford F-150 was traveling north on Highway 10 when it crossed the center line and hit Cherry’s patrol vehicle head-on in the southbound lane.
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, hundreds of people came to Macon County High School in Lafayette for the sergeant’s funeral, including members of law enforcement agencies from across the region.
Sheriff Joey Wilburn spoke to the audience about Cherry’s dedication to service and devotion to his family.
During his many years of service, Cherry served in a variety of positions. His experience helped guide other deputies and helped to set a standard that will last for generations to come.
“We all can take something good from those who have passed on, and definitely from William,” officiant Tim McHenry said.
During the funeral, Wilburn said he was very proud of all the support given to the sheriff’s office and thankful that he was given an opportunity to serve alongside Cherry. Meanwhile, the fallen sergeant’s fellow brothers and sisters in blue demonstrated their support for the Cherry family.
Following the service, authorities escorted Cherry’s body from Lafayette to Gamaliel, Kentucky. As the procession made its way to Cherry’s final resting place, the community he served remembered his sacrifice.
Officials said Cherry was buried at Gamaliel Cemetery in Kentucky. He is survived by his parents, wife, children, and grandchildren, according to his obituary.
The Macon County Sheriff’s Office posted the following statement and photos on Facebook the day after the funeral, showing appreciation for the community’s support:
The support, love and respect shown yesterday not only for the Cherry family but the law enforcement family as well was truly moving. We can’t possibly tag all the other agencies or local businesses that donated of their time or money for fear of leaving anyone out.
The agencies that showed up and worked the road so our officers could attend, the agencies that showed up to attend, support, show respect and escort the funeral procession was numerous. We are forever grateful. There aren’t enough words in the English language to convey the appreciation and feeling of gratitude we all have.
The local businesses that donated money and food are numerous as well. We don’t want to tag them either because we do not want to leave anyone out. We sincerely appreciate all the donations that were received. Times like these tend to remind us of how blessed we are to live in a small town. The feeling of community and support can’t be matched.
In short we want to extend our gratitude from deep within our hearts to everyone whom had any hand in this. This has been the most difficult time for our office but seeing the outpouring of support has touched each of us here at the sheriff’s office.
Continued prayers are appreciated for the family as well as us.
We love you all and may God bless each of youMacon County Sheriff’s Office
A Florida teenager named Zechariah Cartledge — who founded Running 4 Heroes, Inc. — even ran a mile while carrying the Blue Line Flag Wednesday evening in Cherry’s honor.
Meanwhile, a Lafayette florist who created and sold $5 bows in Cherry’s memory told News 2 the effort has raised $2,000 for the deputy’s family, who will receive the money on Thursday, Aug. 3.
News 2 Gives Back is teaming up with the Macon County community to raise money for Cherry’s family. Our team will be at the Walmart on Highway 52 in Lafayette on Monday, Aug. 7. You can also drop by Macon Bank and Trust to donate, or mail checks directly to the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.