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Sheriff issues safety warning for Bryson vigil on NC 280

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MILLS RIVER — Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald issued safety precautions people should keep in mind if they plan to participate in a vigil tonight honoring Tommy Bryson, who was murdered last week. Friends of the Bryson family organized the vigil and encouraged people to shine lights and hold candles along N.C. 280 from South Mills River Road to Westfeldt Park from 8:45 to 9 tonight.

"Put your light out like Mr. Bryson's family has been to us that went through this tragedy, but yet they've still been a beacon. And I feel like the lord has done that for that family, and he can do that for this community," Stephanie Parton said. "And as much as it's affected the community and all of us, we want to give that light back."

Here is the sheriff's office news release about the vigil.

Bryson family is appreciative of the vigil that has been organized to honor the legacy of Tommy Bryson. They are humbled and touched, but last thing they want to see is any tragedy or injury to come out of this grassroots and heartfelt vigil.

In order to maintain safety for vigil attendees, the Bryson family indicated they would be pleased to have law enforcement’s recommendation regarding the route and proposed safety procedures.

The recommended route in Henderson County stretches along Boylston Hwy from South Mills River Road to Westfeldt Park. The event has been scheduled to occur on Wednesday, August 2nd from 8:45pm-9:00pm. Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald has the following recommendations:

· Park in business parking lots wherever possible
· Carpool to reduce congestion
· Turn on hazard lights
· If motorists must park along roadways, find areas with ample shoulder space and pull completely off the roadway
· Pedestrians should remain alert and vigilant to traffic and stay off the roadway
· Motorists are encouraged to exercise caution, remain alert for pedestrians and travel at a safe speed

After speaking with a representative from the NC State Highway Patrol, Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan recommend the public refrain from assembling along any two-lane roads.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the family of Tommy Bryson.