A 78-year-old man was found dead outside of Garner on Monday night after what police and the family think was an accident with a tractor.
James Erving Badger was discovered by his family on a farm near Garner where his family went looking for him when he did not come home that evening.
He was found by his tractor at his garden at 4400 Wilmington Road.
“We hadn’t heard from him since mid-day, and that’s usually not like him to not touch base with somebody,” said his son, James Badger Jr. “Especially my sister.”
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Badger Jr. said he doesn’t know how his father died yet. The family is still trying to figure out how, as are Wake County sheriff’s deputies, who say no foul play is suspected.
“We think it was some freak accident,” Badger Jr. said.
Wake County deputies responded to the call at 11 p.m. Monday.
James Badger Sr. was a retired truck driver and grandfather who had a passion for singing, his son said. He was a deacon at St. Amanda Missionary Baptist Church in Johnston County’s Cleveland community and sung in the male chorus.
“He’s been singing ever since I was born,” Badger Jr. said. “And he sung with a couple of groups including the Silver Echos, a quartet group.”
He also formed a neighborhood group for children called the Gold Angels.
“He was a God-loving man,” Badger Jr. said. “And everywhere he went he would put his all into it. And he touched a lot of people through his music ministry.”