By Erin Smith
A deputy who was supervising a roadside cleanup crew, when he suffered a stroke and was assisted by three inmates, has passed away, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy James Smith, who worked part-time with the Sheriff’s Office, was with a roadside clean up crew on Wednesday, when he stumbled into a ditch and passed out. It was later learned Deputy Smith had suffered a stroke.
The three inmates who were working with Deputy Smith rushed to his aid and assisted him until emergency responders arrived. Deputy Smith was transported to the hospital and then to Duke Hospital. He passed away early Sunday morning.
“He was a good employee,” said Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker.
A post on the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page on Monday said, “The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office is mourning this morning after learning of the passing of Mr James Smith. Mr. Smith was a supervisor for our road clean up crew that had a episode last week. Please continue to keep his family in your prayers over the next few weeks. This is a huge loss to the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of this great County.
Thank you sir for your service……”
Sheriff McVicker said he has met with the family and the Bladen County sheriff’s Office will continue to support the family.
Smith, 62, had worked with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer for 15 years before retiring. He was hired as part of the new Roadside Cleanup Program at the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.