Several hundred people gathered outside Georgia Regents Medical Center’s emergency room on a warm, humid night to pray for Creech, who died Friday afternoon from injuries he sustained in an off-duty motorcycle crash Thursday.
“Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life? I’m going to tell you that Alton sure did,” said Rev. Kevin Steele, pastor of National Hills Baptist Church where Creech was a member. “While he wasn’t perfect, he understood that he served a perfect maker.”
Creech died at Georgia Regents Medical Center about 4:15 p.m., according to Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.
Creech, 32, was approaching the Belair Road westbound exit on his Harley-Davidson about 5:15 p.m. Thursday when he hit the back of a 1999 Toyota Camry, said Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.
Creech was airlifted to the hospital.
Skid marks from Creech’s motorcycle, stretching 90 feet, showed he tried to stop before striking the Toyota, Morris said. The driver of the Camry, Rex Reed, 25, of Martinez, was uninjured.
At the candlelit vigil, Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy Billy Hultman urged the gathering to remember Creech’s wife, Amanda, and family in prayer.
“These folks are going to need a lot of shoulders of the next several weeks and months,” Hultman said.
Hultman first met Creech more than 10 years ago when both were teenagers. The two friends reunited when they joined the police force and worked the same shift.
In 2010, Creech won the title of “top shot” in a sheriff’s office shooting competition for the third consecutive year, which was a first for the agency.
“Christ came into this world to give you hope and life,” Steele said during the vigil. “Though it may seem sometimes darkest in the night, know that the dawn always comes in the morning.”
Richmond County Sheriff’s Lt. Lewis Blanchard said funeral arrangements will be announced today.