DeSoto Parish deputy dies in two-vehicle crash while on duty

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DESOTO PARISH, La. (KTAL/LMSS) – DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson today announced the death of Deputy Donna Richardson-Below

Richardson-Below lost her life in a tragic two vehicle crash while on duty, Richardson said, adding that “She was a beacon of light and impacted all who knew her.” 

According to Louisiana State Police, around 8 a.m. today, troopers from Troop G responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. Highway 84, west of Louisiana Highway 3248.

The initial investigation concluded that a 2008 Jeep Cherokee, driven by 33-year-old Richard Wimer of Stonewall, was entering a curve while traveling east on U.S. Highway 84.

At the same time, Richardson-Below was driving an unmarked DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office Ford Crown Victoria west on Highway 84.

For reasons still under investigation, Wimer lost control of his vehicle and crossed a double yellow line, which resulted in crashing into Richardson-Below’s Crown Victoria.

Richardson-Below, who was properly restrained, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Wimer, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital. Toxicology samples were gathered and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

Richardson-Below had been with the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office since January of 2019. 

Previously, she worked as an agent with Louisiana Probation and Parole.

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