DESOTO PARISH, La. (KSLA) — The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office has lost one of its own.
Deputy Donna Richardson-Below, 43, died in a tragic two-vehicle crash while on duty.
“It is with extreme sadness that we report the death of Deputy Donna Richardson, who lost her life in a tragic two-vehicle crash while on duty. Deputy Richardson-Below was a beacon of light and impacted all who knew her,” says a post on the law enforcement agency’s Facebook page.
The collision happened just before 8 a.m. Wednesday on U.S. Highway 84 west of Louisiana Highway 3248 and east of Mansfield, according to Louisiana State Police.
Richardson-Below was driving an unmarked DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office unit west on U.S. 84 when it was struck by an eastbound 2008 Jeep Cherokee being driven by 33-year-old Richard Wimer.
The Stonewall man lost control of his vehicle as it entered a curve, causing the Jeep to cross the double yellow line and travel into the oncoming lane, where it collided with the deputy’s Ford Crown Victoria, says a statement from Trooper First Class Brent Hardy.
Richardson-Below, who was properly restrained, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wimer, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.
Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis.
State troopers still are investigating the cause of the crash.
Richardson-Below had been with the Sheriff’s Office since January 2019. She previously was an agent with Louisiana Probation and Parole.
Please keep her family, as well as her DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office family, in your prayers.