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Hero Down: ALEA Trooper James ‘J.R.’ Southerland Dies After Motorcycle Crash

Birmingham, AL – Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Trooper James “J.R.” Southerland died on Aug. 21 due to injuries he suffered during a motorcycle crash approximately one week earlier.

The 28-year-old trooper was severely injured during the crash on Aug. 15, according to a fundraising page established to help him and his family.

Trooper Southerland was rushed to UAB Hospital, where he “received the best possible treatment,” according to his supporters.

“It is with great sadness that we have to share the passing of our sweet JR,” his family said in an update on Aug. 21. “There is no other and never will be a person as kind, thoughtful or funny as him.”

Trooper Southerland “fought until the very end,” and “will continue to live on as an organ donor,” the post read.

“This pain is indescribable and so we still continue to ask for prayers as we navigate the coming days without him,” the fallen trooper’s family said. “We love you all and thank you for the love and support you have shown us during this difficult time.”

Trooper Southerland served with the Montgomery Police Department for seven years prior to joining the ALEA, according to his obituary.

He was assigned to the agency’s Water Patrol Division at the time of his death.

Trooper Southerland leaves behind his parents, as well as his siblings, grandparents, nephews, and his “dog/daughter ‘Dixie,’” according to his obituary.

He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Trooper Southerland will be laid to rest on Thursday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Trooper James “J.R.” Southerland, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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