More than 1,000 attend deputy's memorial service

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 turned out for a memorial service for a Sebastian County deputy sheriff who died in a recent auto accident.

The Southwest Times Record reported Sunday that Terry Johnson was remembered as a "gentle giant" during Saturday's service at Community Bible Church.

The 48-year-old Johnson died March 3 of injuries suffered earlier that day in a crash on state Highway 96 in Lavaca. Authorities say Johnson was on routine patrol at the time. A state police report says only that the vehicle driven by Johnson went off the highway and hit a guardrail - then overturned into a ditch and struck a utility pole.

Colleagues remembered the 6-foot-8-inch Johnson as a quiet professional whose size alone often caused suspects to surrender.