Trooper struck, killed near Canton
No new information is being released in the death of a state trooper struck and killed by a dump truck west of Canton Friday afternoon during a routine traffic stop.
Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper John Martin Harris, 44, of Madison died on Mississippi 16 west of I-55 near Old Yazoo Road, the authorities said.
The investigation is ongoing, the MHP said.
Since he was a 5-year-old boy, all Harris had ever wanted to be was a “policeman,” his father said. (See story, Page 1A.)
Harris, a native of Clarksdale, had lived in Madison since 2004. He is survived by his wife, Kate Parker Harris, and their children, Cooper and Parker.
He began his law enforcement career in 1997 in Webb, Mississippi. He then served in Friars Point and later in Madison County as a Sheriff’s deputy and then in the Richland Police Department before joining the Highway Patrol three years ago.
Hundreds turned out for his funeral service on Tuesday in Madison and many others lined the procession route to the cemetery waving American flags and stopping their vehicles along Interstate 55 and Highway 51 to pay their respects. (See story, Page 8A.)
“The Mississippi Highway Patrol mourns the loss of Trooper John Harris,” Col. Randy Ginn said Friday. “Trooper Harris was a passionate, dedicated public servant and an important member of the MHP family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also mourned the loss of Harris in a social media post immediately following the accident.
“The tragic loss of Trooper John Harris in Madison County has left so many suffering,” Reeves Tweeted. ”It is a stark reminder of how fragile life on earth can be — and of the sacrifices made each and every day by his fellow MHP Troopers and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement across Mississippi and this great country.”
Reeves’ statement included a reference to James 5:13 in the New Testament: “The question is asked and answered, ‘Is anyone among you suffering? Let them pray.’ Elee and I pray for his wife, his young children, his Mom and Dad and the rest of his extended family.
“We pray because we are suffering! We pray because we believe in the power of prayer! We pray because we take comfort in our belief in eternal life.
“And we pray because, ‘This kind (of suffering) cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.’ (Mark 9:29)”
Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell also weighed in with a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Trooper John Harris (Z-21),” Tindell said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow Troopers.”
Harris had been with the agency for just over three years.
Harris’ funeral service was held Tuesday in Madison with Reeves and other state dignitaries in attendance along with law enforcement officers from Mississippi, Florida and Alabama, among other places. (See Story, Page 1A.)
Harris’s served as a detective with the Richland Police Department before “finishing his goal and dream as a Trooper,” the department said in a Facebook post Saturday morning. “Trooper Harris was a good friend and co-worker that will be greatly missed. Please keep your thoughts and prayers with his family in the days to come.”
A Facebook fundraising campaign for the family is underway and of Wednesday afternoon had raised $129,410 with a $200,000 goal. There is also a GoFundMe campaign that had raised over $40,000.
The Facebook campaign can be be found under “Raising money for the John Harris family!” The GoFundMe campaign is at https://www.gofundme.com/f/mhp-trooper-john-harris-memorial-fund.