FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Forsyth County Sheriff Deputy Auston Smith Reudelhuber, known as ‘Rudy’ to his friends, was killed Saturday morning when his patrol vehicle and a box truck collided head-on, authorities said.

The crash happened while Reudelhuber, who was on duty at the time, was driving his patrol vehicle along the 5200 block of N. Highway 150 in Davidson County.

The driver of the box truck, William Benton, 24, of Lexington, faces multiple charges in connection with the crash, including misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, reckless driving, and driving left of center.

A patrol vehicle has been placed in front of the detention center on 201 N. Church Street in Winston-Salem to allow the community to mourn. Any cards and notes left on the vehicle will be gathered and shared with the Reudelhuber family.

Among those visiting the memorial was Jacqueline Bridges, a Forsyth County resident, who expressed the sentiment shared by many: “It says he was somebody. He wasn’t anybody. He was somebody. He was a public servant, and he deserves this.”

“When you’re an officer, you have to really love it and dedicate your life to helping others, and I know Rudy was like that,” said Kay Bigelow, another community member. “I know Officer Rudy would have been like this, and I just wish I could have known him.”

Reudelhuber’s dedication to public service was evident throughout his life journey. He graduated from West Davidson High School and served six years in the U.S. Army. After his military service, he pursued his passion for law enforcement, graduating from the basic law enforcement training program at Davidson-Davie Community College.

Reudelhuber worked at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office for three years before joining the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in March 2021.

Community members, familiar and unfamiliar, come to the memorial to leave sentiments and reflect on the impact of Deputy Reudelhuber’s life.

“We understand that some officers are good or bad, but this is one of those situations where you put your personal or political feelings aside because this was a precious life that was lost,” Shawn Everett said.

Deputy Sheriff II Auston Smith Reudelhuber (FCSO)
Deputy Sheriff II Auston Smith Reudelhuber (FCSO)

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, Kimbrough remarked on the grief felt by him and the entire sheriff’s department.

Sheriff Kimbrough released the following statement earlier Saturday morning:

“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.”

Deputy Reudelhuber is survived by 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.