WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington Police say the funeral of a soldier killed last week in Afghanistan will affect traffic on Market Street tomorrow.
Sgt. T.J. Butler, 25, of Leland, died Oct. 1 along with two other North Carolina soldiers in a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan.
Butler's body returned to Wilmington yesterday. A visitation is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. at Andrews Mortuary on Market Street. Butler's funeral is tomorrow at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church on Market Street. He will then be buried in Wilmington National Cemetery also on Market Street.
WPD says Market Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for 25-30 minutes at each of the intervals listed below. The public should anticipate delays. (Times listed below are approximate)
-8:30 a.m.: NC Highway Patrol and the Wilmington Police Department will conduct a practice run with the funeral caisson from Andrews Mortuary, 1617 Market Street, to First Baptist Church at 411 Market Street.
-10:15 a.m.: Sgt. Butler's casket will be borne on the caisson from Andrews Mortuary to the church, traveling along Market Street to N. 6th Street, onto Princess Street, then to 5th Avenue (First Baptist Church).
-Noon: At the end of the church service, the casket and Sgt. Butler's family will be escorted from the church to the Wilmington National Cemetery.
Heavy pedestrian traffic is expected all along the escort route. Police say everyone planning to pay tribute to Sgt. Butler along the route should plan to park on side streets or at satellite locations. Parking will not be allowed along the escort route on Market Street any time Friday morning.