Harnett Deputy Involved In Fatal Accident On Administrative Leave

Dunn Daily Record Photo

HARNETT COUNTY – Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said Tuesday a deputy sheriff involved in a fatal collision is at home recovering. Deputy K. Letarte, a K-9 handler with the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, was seriously injured after his patrol vehicle crashed into a pickup truck at 2:01pm March 3 at the intersection of Highway 210 and Ray Road.

Deputy Letarte was attempting to stop a passenger car when his marked patrol SUV collided with a Ram pickup at the intersection. The collision resulted in the death of both occupants in the pickup, Brian and Patricia Finch of East Gull Lake, Minnesota.

Sheriff Coats said the traffic collision is being investigated by the State Highway Patrol. At the same time, the Sheriff’s Office is conducting a parallel internal investigation to determine if all policies and procedures were followed, including their pursuit policy.

Deputy Letarte, age 36, was hired by the sheriff’s office in July 2017. He is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with the family of Mr. and Mrs. Finch. This is an extremely tragic accident,” Sheriff Coats said Tuesday in a release.


  1. Let’s hear it for “qualified immunity,” because “thoughts and prayers” is all this family will ever receive!!! #VoteOutIncumbents

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