JASPER, Fla. (WTXL) — The Jasper Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its officers.
The Jasper Police Department confirmed Monday afternoon that police chief Anthony Rickerson died in a vehicle accident late Sunday night.
The Florida Highway Patrol said in a report released early Monday that on Sunday at 10:35 p.m. on County Road 143 and Southwest 28th Lane, a Jasper Police Department vehicle was traveling northbound on County Road 143.
The vehicle struck a deer that was in the roadway. According to the report, the vehicle then exited the west side of the roadway and struck a tree before catching fire.
The 43-year-old man was the only occupant in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office expressed sadness of learning of the death of Rickerson.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Police Chief Tony Rickerson of the Jasper Police Department due to a devastating traffic crash last night, which claimed his life. Our hearts ache for the entire law enforcement community, the Jasper Police Department, and most importantly, Chief Rickerson's family and friends.
Chief Rickerson was a dedicated and passionate leader, committed to serving and protecting the citizens of Jasper.
In this challenging time, the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the Jasper Police Department. We extend our deepest condolences and offer our full support to Chief Rickerson's family, friends, and colleagues as they navigate this unimaginable loss.
We ask that you keep Chief Rickerson's loved ones and the Jasper Police Department in your thoughts and prayers."
The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office, the Lake City Police Department, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Live Oak Police Department - all neighboring law enforcement agencies to the Jasper Police Department - also sent thoughts and prayers to those close to Rickerson.
Florida's Chief Financial Officer and Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis released a statement on the death of Rickerson.
"Heartbroken to hear the news that Jasper Police Chief Tony Rickerson passed away last night. My prayers are with his loved ones and the Jasper Police Department during this difficult time."
Heartbroken to hear the news that Jasper Police Chief Tony Rickerson passed away last night. My prayers are with his loved ones and the Jasper Police Department during this difficult time. https://t.co/2xgZOzw6JN— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) June 12, 2023
Florida's Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement:
"Heartbroken to hear of the death of Jasper Police Chief Anthony Rickerson over the weekend due to a car crash. Please join me in praying for his family, including his wife and their three children, and the entire Jasper Police Department."
Heartbroken to hear of the death of Jasper Police Chief Anthony Rickerson over the weekend due to a car crash. Please join me in praying for his family, including his wife and their three children, and the entire Jasper Police Department.— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) June 12, 2023
Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said in a statement on Twitter:
"The unexpected passing of Jasper police chief Anthony Rickerson this past weekend is a terrible tragedy. Thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow officers."
The press office of U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack said in a post on Twitter:
"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."
Cammack's District 3 in the U.S. House of Representatives includes the city of Jasper and Hamilton County.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said in a statement on Twitter:
"We send our condolences and deepest sympathy to the City of Jasper, which lost its Police Chief, Anthony Rickerson, in a tragic accident late last night. Thank you for your leadership and service to your community. Our prayers go out to Chief Rickersons friends and family."
Rickerson's obituary noted he was a member of the Jasper Police Department for 13 years and was promoted to chief of police in Sept. 2022.
Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect how many years Rickerson was a member of the Jasper Police Department and when he was appointed Jasper Police Department Chief of Police.