16-year-old volunteer firefighter, JROTC Cadet dies

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The Jackson County community is mourning the loss of 16-year-old Christopher Harrison, after he died Tuesday from complications following a motorcycle accident.

On Tuesday, Jackson County Judge-Executive Shane Gabbard officially ordered all flags at county government buildings to be flown at half-staff until Harrison’s funeral is over.

Flags were flown at half-staff across Jackson county Tuesday as the community mourns the death of 16 year old Chris Harrison... a young man who was already known to many...as a hero.

"Him being the kind of student and citizen that he was, and playing the role he did in our community, it’s the least we could do to honor him,” Judge-Executive Gabbard said.

At 14-years-old, Harrison joined the Sand Gap Volunteer Fire Department as a junior firefighter and was an active part of the department ever since.

“He enjoyed this. If he got a chance to help somebody, he enjoyed doing it. He's just one in a million. You don't find too many like him,” Sand Gap Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lonnie Madden said.

Harrison was a junior at the Jackson County High School. He was also a JROTC Cadet.

"He was just the go-to person and the one all the kids depended on,” Jackson County High School ROTC Senior Army Instructor Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Whitaker said.

County leaders say on Saturday Harrison marched with his fellow JROTC members in the annual homecoming parade. Afterwards, he was involved in a motorcycle accident and died Tuesday of complications from that accident. He was an only child.

“He may have been an only child but he has a hundred something brothers and sisters and they were all really mourning today over losing him,” Lt. Colonel Whitaker said.

Harrisons badge number 466 at the Sand Gap Fire Department will be retired, as one way to honor their hometown hero forever.

"He’ll always be a part of this department and this community. None of us will ever forget about him...that's for sure,” Chief Madden said.

The JROTC and the Sand Gap Fire Department will be a part of Harrison’s funeral. Harrison will be buried with full, military honors.

By Monique Blair


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  • John P. Bondrew on

    RIP Brother, you spent your time on earth well.

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