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NC police, citizens pay respects to fallen officer


WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) -- Winston-Salem Police Officer Russell Willingham has been laid to rest after he died in a wreck while on duty.

Willingham's funeral was held Thursday in the city where he worked for two years, after serving with the Greensboro Police Department. Police officers from all over North Carolina saluted his coffin as it was taken from Wait Chapel by horse-drawn carriage.

The 28-year-old policeman died Saturday as he was responding to a call for help in catching a possible drunken driver. His car went off the road and down an embankment.

He was trapped inside and radioed for help, but when emergency responders arrived, the car was in flames. He died at the scene.

Willingham is survived by his wife, who survived a bout with cancer before their marriage.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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