GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) - There were heavy hearts in North Carolina Tuesday as a beloved Gates County Commissioner was laid to rest after a fatal car crash.
"He was a valuable person to the Board of County Commissioners, and he is going to be greatly missed," said Chairman Henry Jordan.
In his three years as a Gates County Commissioner, John Hora made his presence known. He was never afraid to let his voice be heard and was considered the county's financial guru.
"He was always pushing, always changeling for more and better, whether it would be better economic development or whether it would be better roadways for the county," added Gates County Manager Jon Mendenhall.
The 12,000 residents that make up Gates County are grieving. Hora died over the weekend from injuries he suffered in crash last Thursday.
"It does hit the area very hard," Mendenhall said. "We are one team, Team Gates County, and this is a loss of an important team member."
The crash happened around 1 p.m. along NC 137 as Hora was headed back to work from his home on a sunny day. He was coming down the road, surrounded by farmland when something went wrong. Troopers say he lost control of his truck and flipped at least three times. He was thrown from his vehicle.
"Obviously it was a tragic scene and we saw Commissioner Hora and it broke our hearts," Mendnehall added.
"We immediately went into prayer for him," Jordan said.
The 65-year-old commissioner represented the Eure District of the county. He died Saturday morning at a local hospital. He leaves behind much more than an empty seat.
"His passion and concern was for Gates County," Jordan added. "He was someone who, whatever decisions were made, he did them for the good of the county."
"When we think about this loss we also need to think about the positive things that John meant to us all," Mendenhall said. "He was a good commissioner, a good family man, a good neighbor and a good friend to us all. One that will be sorely missed."
State Troopers say Hora was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The cause remains under investigation.
As for Hora's seat, Gates County Commissioners have 60 days to appoint a replacement.
A man is facing attempted abduction charges after police said he tried to grab two juvenile girls and exposed himself.
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of more than 2,000 EMTs and paramedics who were abruptly laid off over the weekend.
The Portsmouth City Council has set a public hearing for Tuesday, Dec. 17, to talk about a plan to bring a casino to the city.