Deputy killed

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Deputy Donna Richardson-Below was killed in a two-vehicle accident on Wednesday morning.

A collision about 8 a.m. Wednesday killed a DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Louisiana State Police said the crash happened on U.S. 84 west of Louisiana 3248.

The initial investigation revealed a 2008 Jeep Cherokee, driven by Richard Wimer, 33, of Stonewall, was entering a curve while traveling east on U.S. 84. At the same time, an unmarked DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Ford Crown Victoria, driven by Deputy Donna Richardson-Below, 43, was traveling west on U.S. 84.

For reasons still under investigation, Wimer lost control of his vehicle and crossed a double yellow line which resulted in the collision with the deputy’s vehicle. Deputy Richardson-Below, who was properly restrained, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Wimer, who was unrestrained, received moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson said in a statement that Richardson-Below “was a beacon of light and impacted all who knew her.”

She had been employed by the Sheriff’s Office since January 2019. She was previously an agent with Louisiana Probation and Parole.

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