ASHEVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Flags were lowered throughout a small community outside of Asheville on Monday after the chief of the local fire department was killed in a crash on Interstate 40 over the weekend.
Richard Sales had been with the Reynolds Fire Department for 31 years. His father was chief before him. They were the only two chiefs that department has ever known.
"Everyone is in disbelief," said Swannanoa Fire Department Assistant Chief Larry Pierson.
Pierson was at the Reynolds Department on Monday to handle emergency calls to give Reynolds Department members time to grieve.
Sales was killed when his SUV went out of control and flipped near Statesville. He was on his way to a safety conference in Wilmington where he planned to accept an award for his department.
On Tuesday, his body will be brought back to Asheville in a procession on I-40, passing by the spot where he lost his life.