SOUTHERN PINES — A Southern Pines police officer was killed Saturday morning when he crashed his motorcycle while leading a benefit ride for the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
Officer Stanley Lewis Klingenschmidt, a 27-year veteran of the department, was leading the group of motorcycle riders south on Capelsie Road in Montgomery County when he ran off the right side and hit a wooden fence, Highway Patrol Sgt. A.S. Dowell said.
Klingenschmidt, 58, was taken to First Health Montgomery Memorial Hospital, where he later died, Dowell said. The area where the accident happened is a winding part of the road south of Troy, he said. No other vehicles were involved.
The group had left Pinehurst around 10 a.m. Saturday for the Pinehurst Police Department-sponsored ride to raise money for the Special Olympics. They had been riding for about an hour when the accident happened.
Southern Pines Police Chief Robert Temme issued a statement Saturday evening.
“Each of us at the Southern Pines Police Department not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss his family suffers,” Temme wrote. “We ask that you keep the Klingenschmidt family, the Southern Pines Police Department, the Pinehurst Police Department and the entire Southern Pines community in your thoughts and prayers.”
Klingenschmidt had retired but was working as a reserve officer, Dowell said.
Pinehurst Police Chief Earl Phipps said he was at a different event when the accident happened, but the neighboring departments are a family and will get through the loss together.
It’s a heartbreaking loss, he added.
“Today, we lost a hero and a good man,” Phipps said.
Funeral arrangements are pending.