OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Memphis Police Officer Darrell Adams died on Saturday when a passing 18-wheeler hit him as the 34-year-old was investigating a car crash along I-40.
Less than 24 hours later, nearly a dozen runners and walkers are helping to keep the 5-year veteran’s memory alive by participating in Running 4 Heroes, a one-mile run, in Olive Branch, MS.
Leading the way is Zechariah Cartledge, a Florida pre-teen who was in town running for another cause when he learned that the 34-year-old officer paid the ultimate sacrifice.
With the pounding of the pavement, Cartledge is running in remembrance.
“We are here to honor a fallen officer out of the Memphis Police department, who lost his life yesterday,” he said.
The Lewisburg High School parking lot in Olive Branch would become a course Cartledge would use to show his support.
“I went down to Grenada and did a mile in honor of all the Mississippi first responders who lost their life across the state,” he said. “My goal was to run for every fallen police officer and firefighter from across the United States and since I started I’ve done over 1,000 miles.”
This marks mile 1,022. That’s the equivalent to running from Olive Branch to Philadelphia.
Cartledge said with every step, it’s in honor of those first responders who selflessly took steps to serve and protect.
“We are very glad to see all of the support for this run and I’m very glad we were able to get it,” Cartledge said.
The thin blue line flag that was blowing in the wind will eventually make its way to Officer Adams’ family.
A family that includes others in law enforcement from Memphis to Mississippi. Some of them are even running in full uniforms to honor a brother in blue.
Despite experiencing a lot over the past 2 decades, something that never gets easy for Memphis Police Sgt Kevin Williams is hearing about the loss of a fellow officer.
“It’s tough it’s tough, I’ve been on 23 years,” said Williams.
He will deliver the flag to Officer Adams’ loved ones.
Zechariah says he will continue going the extra mile for first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice in an ongoing effort to run for heroes – hence the name of his non-profit.
You can learn more about Running 4 Heroes here.