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Crossville Fire Department honors firefighter who was hit and killed by truck

Firefighters say Richard's death is not only a huge loss for the fire department, but for the community as well.

Posted: Sep 7, 2019 9:26 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2019 4:06 PM

Flags flew at half-staff in Crossville in honor of a firefighter killed in a car crash.

Kole Richards was killed Friday afternoon when a truck hit him on the side of I-59. WAAY 31 reached out to state troopers to see if the driver of that truck could face any charges.

They tell us they're still carrying out their investigation. Still, firefighters say the crash shouldn't have happened in the first place.

"We don't know any of the details of what happened yesterday, but it should have never happened. Move over and slow down. It's not worth somebody's life to get somewhere quicker," volunteer firefighter Eric Rolph said.

Firefighters say Richard's death is not only a huge loss for the fire department, but for the community as well.

"It still hasn't sunk in. It's going to be a while. I still expect him to come in if we get a call tonight," Rolph said.

He served with Richards as a Crossville firefighter. He says Richards was an integral part of the department.

"He would give his shirt off his back. If anybody needed anything, he would do it for them. It's going to be hard to replace or for someone to even come close to filling his shoes," he said.

Firefighters describe Richards as an easy going guy who was always smiling. They say he was part of the Fab Five, a small group of firefighters who are known to show up to every call they get.

"If he was available and sometimes when he wasn't available, he was here," Rolph noted.

The community of Crossville knew him for his service.

"Pretty much everybody in town knew Kole. Even if you didn't know him by name, you'd know him by who he was," Rolph said.

Rolph says Richards was one of the few people who gave up his free time to serve the community.
He hopes more people will follow his example and volunteer even a fraction of their time.

"Especially in a small town like crossville, everybody knows everybody and counts on especially their fire department to be there I'd give anything for 10 Koles."

A memorial fund for Richards is set up.

This is the second firefighter who died at the Crossville Fire Department. Cody Renfoe died almost 11 years ago while responding to a house fire.

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