Fla. police chief dies after pickup hits deer, crashes into tree before catching fire
Chief Rickerson was a former corrections officer who served 12 years with the Jasper police, the last four as chief
By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer
JASPER, Fla. — A North Florida police chief was killed in a deadly chain reaction that began when a deer stepped in front of his pickup truck.
Chief Anthony “Tony” Rickerson, 43, headed the Jasper Police Department, officials say.
The single-vehicle crash happened around 10:25 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, in Jasper, about 90 miles west of Jacksonville, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Investigators say a pickup truck was traveling north on County Road 143 when it struck a deer standing in the road.
The pickup “then exited the west side of the roadway and struck a tree before catching on fire,” the highway patrol said in a report. “The (driver) of the vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
A cause of death was not released. No other passengers were in the truck at the time, officials said.
County Road 143 cuts through farms and forests southwest of Jasper, and it does not have street lights.
He was a former corrections officer who served 12 years with the Jasper police, the last four as chief, station WCTV reports.
“Our hearts ache for the entire law enforcement community, the Jasper Police Department, and most importantly, Chief Rickerson’s family and friends,” the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.
“Chief Rickerson was a dedicated and passionate leader, committed to serving and protecting the citizens of Jasper.”