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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County family and the Sheriff’s Office is in mourning after the death of a deputy over the weekend. Dep. Dewayne Hester died Friday night while responding to a call near Elizabethtown.

“I heard the screaming tires, and it’s an awful sound,” said Reed Allen, who lives across the street from where the crash happened. “I’ve heard it many times before. Then the thud and the crash and the second crash of the car tumbling and rolling. There is no good feeling about that when you hear that sound, you know someone has had a severe accident.”

What Allen heard was more than severe. It was fatal.

Hester, 39, was responding to an assault with a deadly weapon call when he crashed. He was driving around what neighbors say is a dangerous curve, when he lost control of his vehicle, cut across NC 87, ran through the ditch and crashed into a tree.

To respect the wishes of the family, no one from the sheriff’s office spoke to us on camera, but Sheriff Prentis Benston told us off-camera Hester was a giving man who loved his family and his career.

Benston said he’s gotten calls of condolence from law enforcement agencies all over the country and even Canada.

Hester leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

“I’m just so sorry that it happened to any individual in the line of duty just doing his job,” Allen said. “Of course he had young children and a wife, and really at no fault of his own, he was just trying to do his job.”

Allen said he hopes now signage will be added to make people aware of the curve.

Visitation for Hester is set for tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hickory Grove Baptist Church Family Life Center in Bladenboro. Hester’s funeral is Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the same location.

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office is collecting donations for Hester’s family. They can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office or sent to P.O. Box 396, Elizabethtown, NC 28337.

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