Sidney, IA – Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Deputy Austin “Melvin” Richardson died in the line of duty on Tuesday after his patrol vehicle collided with a wide-load harvesting combine traveling in the opposite direction.
The 37-year-old deputy was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 275 near 260th Street in a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe when the crash occurred at approximately 12:35 p.m., the Des Moines Register reported.
According to the Iowa State Patrol (ISP), the large piece of farming machinery was wider than the southbound lane it was traveling in, so the front left tire of the combine was over the centerline and in the northbound lane.
Deputy Richardson, who was not wearing a seatbelt, collided with the harvester combine’s wheel, the Des Moines Register reported.
The veteran deputy suffered severe injuries in the crash and did not survive.
Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope said the fatal collision remains under investigation, according to the Des Moines Register.
Deputy Richardson began his law enforcement career on Dec. 17, 2007, when he joined the Auburn Police Department (APD) in Nebraska, according to his obituary.
Five years later, he joined the Sidney Police Department (SPD), and later transferred to the FCSO on Aug. 31, 2015.
Deputy Richardson was also a member of the Percival Fire and Rescue and the Sidney Fire and Rescue, according to his obituary.
He leaves behind his wife of nearly five years, Jennifer, and their young daughters, Everly, Cheyenne, and Bryxtol.
Deputy Richardson is also survived by his mother, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends and extended family members.
He was be laid to rest on June 18.
On June 14th, Fremont County (Iowa) Deputy Sheriff Austin "Melvin" Richardson succumbed to injuries sustained in a collision with a harvesting combine on Highway 275 near 260th Street.
May he rest in peace.
Please retweet to honor his memory. pic.twitter.com/BCnRY0AL0M
— Sgt. Rock 🇺🇸 (@SgtRockIsBack) June 16, 2022
Draped Fremont County cruiser honoring Dep. Melvin Richardson, who died in a crash that involved a combine Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/4nXb9vlt4L
— Alex McLoon KETV (@AlexMcLoon) June 15, 2022
🔹 Blessed Are The Peacemakers 🔹
Deputy Sheriff Austin "Melvin" Richardson
Fremont County Sheriff's Office, Iowa
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) June 16, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Austin “Melvin” Richardson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.