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DeSoto Parish – On February 12, 2020, just before 8:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. Highway 84 west of Louisiana Highway 3248. This crash claimed the life of a 43-year-old DeSoto Parish Deputy Donna Richardson-Below.
The initial investigation revealed 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, an unmarked DeSoto Parish Sherriff’s Office’s Ford Crown Victoria, driven by Deputy Richardson-Below, was traveling west on U.S. Highway 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.
Motorists need to use caution when driving in inclement weather. Speeding increases the chances of motorists to lose control of the vehicle. Louisiana law allows law enforcement to issue citations to motorists for driving too fast for road conditions.
In 2020, Louisiana State Police Troop G has investigated two fatal crashes resulting in two deaths.