Community preparing to honor Crossville firefighter killed in interstate accident

Kole Richards was a Crossville firefighter.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 7:24 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2019 7:27 PM

A DeKalb County family is preparing to bury a hero who was killed in a terrifying interstate accident.

Kole Richards was a Crossville firefighter. He died Friday when a truck hit him on the side of I-59 as he changed a tire.

Kole Richards; Credit: Crossville Fire

On Wednesday at about 3:15 p.m., firetrucks, wreckers and 18-wheelers will head down the street in Crossville as part of a processional following the 2 p.m. funeral.

Of the nearly 30 fire departments in DeKalb County, every single one has reached out to Crossville to participate in Wednesday's processional for Richard's funeral.

"I'm sure, just knowing Kole and everyone who knew him, it's going to be large," said Eric Rolph.

The Crossville fire chief said they've had to limit fire departments to just one fire truck, because they've gotten so much support, but it's not just fire departments getting involved. Richards also worked for a truck service business, and at least 20 truckers are participating with their 18-wheelers.

"It's just fitting to have a way for everyone to say goodbye in their own way," said Rolph.

Firefighters say Richards was well loved in the community. He was the son of a former mayor, a volunteer firefighter for six years and he even cheered on the Crossville Lions as their mascot during high school. In his 28 years of life, he made a serious impact in the community.

"I've trusted him with my life. I could trust him for anything," said Rolph.

While the visitation happens, the Collinsville Fire Department is manning the station at Crossville. During the funeral, the Kilpatrick Fire Department will step in.

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