Jasper, FL – Jasper Police Department (JPD) Chief Anthony “Tony” Rickerson died in the line of duty on June 11 after his vehicle collided with a deer in the roadway.
The incident occurred on County Road 143 at approximately 10:25 p.m., the Miami Herald reported.
Chief Rickerson was heading to a location to back up officers who were responding to an unauthorized block party at the time, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said the 43-year-old police chief was traveling northbound when his patrol vehicle collided with a deer that was in the roadway, the Miami Herald reported.
Chief Rickerson’s vehicle then veered off the west side of the road and slammed into a tree before subsequently bursting into flames.
The patrol vehicle was engulfed in flames when first responders arrived at the crash site, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Chief Rickerson was pronounced dead at the scene, the Miami Herald reported.
The JPD announced his death in a press release two days later.
“We regret to inform you of the passing of Chief Anthony ‘Tony’ Rickerson of the Jasper Police department,” the JPD said. “Chief Rickerson sustained life-threatening injuries following a vehicle crash on the evening of June 11th, 2023.”
Chief Rickerson served with the Florida Department of Corrections and the Jennings Police Department prior to his career with the JPD, according to his obituary.
He worked up the ranks during his 13 years at the JPD before being named interim chief in August of 2021.
Chief Rickerson was unanimously appointed at the department’s permanent chief in September of last year, according to his obituary.
“Tony’s reputation as a police officer in the community is one of being fair, compassionate, and kind. Tony embodied everything public service should be as he truly had a servant’s heart,” the tribute read. “He dedicated his life to public service, loved being a police officer, and loved all of his law enforcement family.”
Chief Rickerson leaves behind his wife, Sheena, and their three children, Annalee, Wyatt, and Wade.
He is also survived by his mother, sister, brother, nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws, and many friends.
Chief Rickerson will be laid to rest on June 20.
Residents line the streets of Jasper, Fl to watch a procession carrying the remains of Police Chief Anthony Rickerson Wednesday afternoon. Rickerson was killed in a crash Sunday night. Full story online @WCTV pic.twitter.com/Kvp63yuyGG
— Samuel Thomas (@Samuel_W_Thomas) June 15, 2023
Chief Troche has authorized our Officers to wear mourning bands over their badges in honor and respect of @JasperPoliceFL. Police Chief Tony Rickerson died in a crash while in an agency vehicle. Mourning bands will be worn until midnight on the day of Chief Rickerson's funeral. pic.twitter.com/FichjlCDeL
— Sarasota Police Department (@SarasotaPD) June 14, 2023
We send our deepest sympathy to the Jasper Police Department, who recently lost its Police Chief, Anthony Rickerson. Thank you for your leadership and service to your community. Our prayers go out to Chief Rickerson’s friends and family. It was an honor taking you home today sir. pic.twitter.com/qiVqBo8rsi
— FHP Jacksonville (@FHPJacksonville) June 15, 2023
Today, our hearts break for the City of Jasper and Hamilton County with the news of the loss of Chief of Police Tony Rickerson last night. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. We vow to honor his legacy and his memory as we mourn his loss. pic.twitter.com/EPas4SAAg7
— Rep. Cammack Press Office (@RepKatCammack) June 12, 2023
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jasper Police Department Chief Anthony “Tony” Rickerson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.