Upstate community remembers fallen Spartanburg officer - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate community remembers fallen Spartanburg officer

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Officer Jason Harris (Source: Spartanburg PD) Officer Jason Harris (Source: Spartanburg PD)
Blood drive announced for Spartanburg officer injured in motorcycle crash. (4/12/17) Blood drive announced for Spartanburg officer injured in motorcycle crash. (4/12/17)
Officer Jason Harris (Source: GoFundMe) Officer Jason Harris (Source: GoFundMe)
Scene of collision involving motorcycle on Union Street. (April 12, 2017 FOX Carolina) Scene of collision involving motorcycle on Union Street. (April 12, 2017 FOX Carolina)
Vehicles involved in collision. (Source: Eyewitness) Vehicles involved in collision. (Source: Eyewitness)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Spartanburg Coroner Rusty Clevenger announced Thursday that a Spartanburg motorcycle officer passed away after suffering severe injuries in a collision with another vehicle on Tuesday night.

Master Patrol Officer Jason Gregory Harris, 39, served with the Spartanburg Police Department for nearly 12 years. During his career, Harris served as the member of the SWAT team, Motorcycle Unit, K-9 Tracking Team, Downtown Bicycle Unit, Housing Complex Team and was a gang investigator.

He is survived by a wife and three children, colleagues said.

A visitation for Harris will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 at First Baptist Church.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19 at First Baptist Church. Internment will follow at Wood Memorial Park on Gap Creek Road.

THE CRASH

The collision occurred on Union Street around 9:45 p.m.  Troopers said Spartanburg Police Officer Jason Gregory Harris was traveling east on Union Street on a 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle when it struck a 2004 Ford turning onto a private driveway.

The motorcycle officer had lights activated and was wearing a helmet, police said. The officer was transported to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

Clevenger said Harris passed away Thursday from injuries sustained in the crash. After an autopsy, the coroner said Harris died from blood loss after lacerations to the liver and a vein into his heart. His manner of death was ruled an accident.

"Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers," Coroner Rusty Clevenger said.

Following Harris' death, police released a statement on his passing. The statement included new details about the moments leading up to the crash. Spartanburg police said officers were responding to a burglary and called for assistance. Harris was heading to assist those officers when he crashed.

READ: Spartanburg Police Department releases statement on passing of Officer Jason Harris

The driver of the Ford, a 20-year-old female, was also injured and transported to Spartanburg Regional. She was wearing a seat belt. On Thursday, the female driver injured in the crash confirmed she was recovering at home but still in a lot of pain and having difficulty moving around.

The SC Highway Patrol's MAIT Team was called in to recreate the crash and aid in the investigation.

READ MORE: Witness describes motorcycle crash injuring Spartanburg officer

STATEMENTS RELEASED

The driver of the other vehicle released a statement via Facebook expressing her sadness at the loss of Harris' life:

My prayers and tears go out to his family, friends, fellow officers, and the Spartanburg community while they are mourning the loss of a beloved officer. All I prayed for since the moment i heard he was in critical condition was for him to come home like God brought me home. There is definitely a desolate feeling in the air for all of Spartanburg county.

Governor Henry McMaster posted the following statement on social media:

Officer Harris and his family and friends are in mine and Peggy's hearts and prayers. This is a difficult reminder of the sacrifices men and women in uniform make every single day to protect each and every one of us. 

Following Harris' passing, Greenville Police Department shared their condolences on their Facebook page:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and coworkers of fallen officer, Jason Harris with the Spartanburg Police Department. He passed away today from injuries sustained in an on duty collision earlier this week. #jasonharris #spartanburgpd

Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office released a statement as well:

Sheriff Wright and the entire Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office offer our condolences and prayers to MPO Jason Harris family and the Spartanburg City Police Department on the passing of Officer Harris. Rest In Peace Officer Harris, your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Spartanburg Mayor Junie White issued the following statement:

We are in mourning. This is a sad time for the citizens of Spartanburg, a sad time for the entire City of Spartanburg
team, and a sad time for the law enforcement community, as we all deal with the death of Master Police
Officer Jason Harris. As we mourn his passing, we also are reminded of the job our law enforcement officers do
every day for us. They face dangers and risk their lives every day. Tragically, MPO Harris gave his life protecting the
citizens of our community, and we will forever remember and honor him for that ultimate sacrifice.

MPO Harris was a dedicated law enforcement officer, a man of compassion, and a beloved husband and father of
three. Our thoughts and prayers are with MPO Harris’ entire family, and with all City of Spartanburg public safety
officers and staff as they mourn their colleague’s death.

DONATE

A GoFundMe account and events in Officer Harris' honor have been set up to raise money for his family. Click here for a list of ways to contribute

BLOOD DRIVE

More than 50 units of blood were used to try to save Harris' life. The police department organized a blood drive held in his honor outside Spartanburg City Hall Friday, April 14. The police department said 222 units of blood were donated by the community to honor the legacy of MPO Harris. They released the following statement thanking the community for their support and detailing plans to lay Harris to rest:

We are humbled by the compassion that was demonstrated today. What a wonderful way to honor Jason! We appreciate those individuals that attempted to donate but were unable to give. There were many who waited for extended periods of time. We thank The Blood Connection for making this event possible.  If anyone wishes to donate that could not attend today, they may contact The Blood Connection.         

Services for MPO Jason Harris, are being coordinated by the J.F. Floyd Mortuary located at 2075 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, S.C.

Visitation will be Tuesday, April 18th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., at First Baptist Spartanburg located at 250 East Main St., Spartanburg, S.C.  

The Funeral Services will be on Wednesday, April 19th at 11:00 a.m., also at First Baptist Spartanburg. Interment will be at Wood Memorial Park at 863 Gap Creek Road, Greer, S.C.

The Harris family and the members of the Spartanburg Police Department ask for your continued prayers. 

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