SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A day after a tragic loss, the Spalding County Sheriff is speaking out about the outpouring of love and support for Deputy Jamie Reynolds.
Reynolds was driving in his patrol car Sunday around 5:30 a.m. on Ga. Hwy. 16 when a large pine tree fell – crushing his patrol car.
"In a freak accident, a large pine tree fell across the roadway and crushed the passenger compartment of his vehicle. And it took his life almost instantly," Spalding Sherriff Darrell Dix said.
The sheriff said the 47-year-old deputy had just joined the agency last year and already had left his mark. He had more than 25 years of law enforcement experience.
"He was only here for a short time, but his handprints and fingerprints are all of this building," Spalding Sherriff Darrell Dix said.
The sheriff described Reynolds as a great listener, who always took the time to support those around him.
"He had a lot of experience, he had been a police chief and a lot of people sought him for counsel," Sheriff Dix said.
Reynolds leaves behind a wife, stepson and stepdaughter. The sheriff's office said its deputies are assisting the family through this tragedy.
"I met with them yesterday morning to tell them what had happened," Sheriff Dix said. "They are a very strong family... we have officers that are going to be working with them over the next few days to help them get over this hump. We're going to be with them from now on because Jamie was part of our family here, and we're going to do everything we can to honor him and help them at the same time."
Sheriff Dix said others in law enforcement have been reaching out to their department across the state and the country to offer their condolences.
"It's just been an outpouring of love and support for Jamie and his family, and for the sheriff's office here," he said.
Sheriff Dix added that Reynolds always made an impact.
"He was that guy everybody loved, everybody cared about. He always took time to talk to people here and across the community. He will leave a hole here that just can't be filled," he said.
The Spalding County Sheriff's Office is wearing a black stripe over their badge to symbolize their loss and to honor Reynolds in the law enforcement community.
Reynolds' name will be added to a monument in front of the sheriff's office to mark his end of watch.