South Pittsburg, several law enforcement agencies mourn the loss of Marion County detective
Matt Blansett was laid to rest in somber ceremony at his old high school; a neighbor says his death means "Everybody's going to miss a friend. A best friend."
SOUTH PITTSBURG (WDEF) – A somber day in South Pittsburg as the town and several agencies mourned Matt Blansett, a detective for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and a county commissioner.
Blansett was one of two law enforcement officers killed in the helicopter crash earlier in the week.
Several officers from across the state came to the local high school to mourn with a community that loved its native son.
One neighbor that lives across the street, Kirk Fuqua, remembers Blansett as a teenager.
“I knew him when he was a student. I knew him when he graduated. He was on the ’99 state championship football team. Graduated in ’99. I knew him as a good person.”
The chief of the South Pittsburg Police Department told me a 14-year-old Blansett would ride along with him a quarter century ago.
I spoke with a couple Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies and they said Blansett was their go-to guy whenever they needed something in Marion County.
Fuqua says Blansett was valued, and echoed the one feeling South Pittsburg had this week.
“Shock. Everybody’s going to miss a friend. A best friend. Family’s going to miss a son and a brother. It’s going to be a long time for this to be settled.”
Blansett leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Blansett was only 40 years old.