Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 3, 2014

Coroner: Preliminary report finds cause of Franklin’s death heart-related

Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office units give body tribute escort

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — An autopsy was performed Thursday on the Barren County Sheriff’s Office deputy who died following a single-vehicle wreck Wednesday.

Barren County Coroner Mike Swift said he is awaiting a written copy of the preliminary autopsy report, but he received a verbal report from the state medical examiner’s office in Louisville that Ernest T. Franklin’s suspected cause of death is hypertensive heart disease.

Further tests and toxicology lab work will be conducted before a full report is available, he said, and although it could be sooner, the typical timeframe for those to be completed is six to eight weeks.

Franklin, 58, was a process server for the BCSO, and he was on duty Wednesday when the Ford Escape he was driving went off the roadway along Ky. 90 and took a convoluted path before finally coming to rest on an embankment with the front end in a pond. He was transported by ambulance to T.J. Samson Community Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, with the funeral at 11 a.m. Tuesday, both at Hopewell Baptist Church, 104 Mill St., Glasgow, according to Watts & Percell Funeral Home, which is in charge of the arrangements.

Swift said the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office units provided an impressive escort as he and Tim Gibson, deputy coroner, transported Franklin’s body by ambulance to Louisville. BCSO Deputy Rodney Sponhouse was part of the procession as well.

Just south of Munfordville on Interstate 65, two JCSO units met them, then two more joined in the vicinity of the Hardin County line and two more fell in with them when they went into Louisville, Swift said. As they exited the interstate and headed toward Broadway, he said, the Jefferson County units took turns moving ahead and blocked each intersection from there to the medical examiner’s office, which is at 810 Barret Ave.

Once they had arrived at their destination, those same officers formed a line on either side of them as they carried the stretcher into the building, and one of them was posted in the morgue throughout the night and until time for the autopsy, Swift said. Two units escorted the body back to Glasgow as well, he said.

“It was awesome. They were outstanding,” he said. “I’d heard of that before, but I’d never witnessed it. I said, ‘Ernest would have been proud.’”

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