RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — The State of North Carolina will be lowering state and U.S. flags to half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday.
On Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office issued the order in honor of Forsyth County Deputy Auston Smith Reudelbuher who died in the line of duty on Sept. 9.
“I am saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Deputy Sheriff II Auston Smith Reudelhuber,” Cooper said in a news release. “He served North Carolina and the Forsyth County community with distinction and our prayers are with his family and friends during this most difficult time.”
Reudelhuber, affectionately known as ‘Rudy’ to friends, was tragically lost in the line of duty during a devastating crash early on Sept. 9. He driving his patrol vehicle along the 5200 block of North NC 150 in Davidson County when he was involved in a head-on collision with a box truck.
The driver of the box truck, identified as 24-year-old William Benton of Lexington, is now facing multiple charges in connection with the incident, including misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, reckless driving and driving left of center.
A graduate of West Davidson High School, Reudelhuber served his country for six years in the United States Army and was an active reserve member. Following his military service, he pursued his passion for law enforcement, graduating from the Davidson-Davie Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Program.
Reudelhuber would then get three years of experience at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, and then later join the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in March 2021.
Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons, who knew Reudelhuber well during his time working for his office, shared his thoughts on the fallen deputy:
“He was very dedicated to protecting the citizens of Davidson County. He was a friend to all and a very valuable member. We were very saddened by this tremendous loss to the family of law enforcement. He was a great soldier in the United States Army and an awesome member in law enforcement. He will be greatly missed.”
Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby F. Kimbrough Jr. released a video expressing his condolences and gratitude for the community outreach and support. In the video, Sheriff Kimbrough remarked on the grief felt by him and the entire sheriff’s department.
Sheriff Kimbrough released the following statement earlier on the morning of Reudelhuber’s death:
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of one of our own. Deputy Sheriff Auston Reudelhuber was killed this morning in a fatal car crash. We are asking for prayers for the Reudelhuber family as well as for our FCSO Family. Together we stand and together we will get through this, with the support from our community.”
Reudelhuber leaves behind his wife, Rachel, and their two young daughters. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to support the Reudelhuber family.
The governor invites individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions to join the state in flying flags at half-staff on Tuesday.