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Routine Patrol Turns Tragic

By Debbie Gregory

The Macon County Sheriff’s Department lost one of their own early Saturday morning, July 29, when 55-year-old Sergeant William Cherry was killed in a two-vehicle crash while on routine patrol, at approximately 12:30 a.m.

People came out, they watched and they mourned on Saturday afternoon as blue lights could be seen coming through Macon County as law enforcement from around the area escorted the body of Sgt. William Cherry to Anderson and Son Funeral Home in Lafayette.

“William Cherry was a father figure to all of us,” said Sheriff Joey Wilburn. “We all looked up to his wisdom and guidance. He served this community with the highest honor and dignity. William can never be replaced but will always be remembered. The absence in our hearts, can only be filled with all the memories we shared with him.”

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, on July 29, Devin Slayton, 24, of Macon County, was driving north on Hwy. 10 North (Scottsville Road) in a 2013 Ford F150, when he crossed the center line and struck Sgt. Cherry’s patrol vehicle in the southbound lane. Slayton was airlifted for treatment and Sgt. Cherry was deceased at the scene. 

THP stated that neither driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Charges are pending against Devin Slayton. His condition was unknown at press time.

Sgt. Cherry was also a former officer in Red Boiling Springs, a security guard at Macon Community Hospital, and he served as the former Deputy Sheriff & Assistant Police Chief in Clay County.

Funeral services for Sgt. William Jace Cherry will be conducted tomorrow, Wednesday, August 2, at 1:00 p.m. from Macon County High School, in Lafayette, with Tim McHenry & Chaplain Jim Cubic officiating. All employees of the Macon County Sheriff’s Department will serve as honorary pallbearers. Interment will follow in the Gamaliel Cemetery.

Rest in peace Sgt. Cherry.