By Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter

Jasper, TN (WRCB) -- Marion County Clerk Dwight Minter said the untimely death of Marion County Mayor and friend, David Kirk, has sent a ripple of hurt throughout the community.

Kirk died Wednesday evening following a horse accident at his ranch Saturday.

A friend at Kirk's bedside called minter at work to pass along the sad news.

Minter said he didn't know how to break the news to his staff.

"I came here and hunted down the sheriff and told the secretaries and they were just devastated and beside themselves," said Minter.

Minter said he and Kirk grew up together and he was there the day one Kirk's horses fell on him, breaking his hip and shoulder.

County Chairman and Marion County Sheriff's Office detective, Gene Hargis, will serve as interim mayor.

Hargis said he never expected for a tragedy like this to happen, and didn't see himself filling the role of mayor in this fashion.

"I was unexpected, kind of a right cross. It was a horrible tragedy. He was a good man and county leader," says Hargis.

Hargis said he will take a leave of absence from his detective duties to focus on his new role in the county.

He believes the best way to honor Kirk's name is to keep to his vision for the county alive.

"We continue the things David started in this commission and he had ideas and vision for his ideas," Hargis added.

Thursday visitation will be held at Rogers Funeral home from 4pm to 9pm Central time.

Kirk's funeral is set for Saturday.