Hundreds pay final respects at trooper's viewing

By Perry Russom

June 2, 2014 Updated Jun 2, 2014 at 10:19 PM EST

Port Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Monday night, hundreds of people lined up in Port Dickinson to pay their respects to fallen New York State Trooper Chris Skinner.

The line outside of Community Baptist Church on Chenango St. stretched down the block as people waited to say their goodbyes at Skinner's viewing.

"Everyone of us feels like we're invincible and for something like this to happen, you know, it's somewhat surreal," said Trooper Matt Maciak, New York State Police.

The viewing started at 3 p.m. and ended at 8 p.m.

Skinner was killed in the line of duty last week when a man hit him with his truck killing him instantly.

Police say Almond Upton intentionally drove his truck into Skinner while he was conducting a traffic stop. Upton has been charged with first-degree murder.

"This is the way we honor our fallen officers," said Trooper Mark Vavak, Arkansas State Police.

Vavak traveled with another trooper from Arkansas to honor a man they never met.

"I just really wanted to come here, talk to the family and condole the family, let them know there are other people out here worrying about them," said Vavak.

"It's really hard to sit here and speak about it now," said Trooper Brandon Love, Arkansas State Police. "When it hits us hard, it hits all of us."

With the hundreds of people who showing up to pay their final respects, State Police said they're expecting even more for the funeral on Tuesday. They said they're preparing for about 1,700 people in the church.

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