ASHEVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Tuesday afternoon the body of Chief Richard Sales was taken back home to Asheville from Winston-Salem. Sales, the chief of a local fire station, was killed in a crash on I-40.
The procession followed I-40 all the way, passing by the spot where Sales died this weekend, and traveling under overpasses packed with firefighters.
In Long View, firefighters raised a giant flag and stood at attention, saluting as the procession passed below them.
Chief James Brinkley said his department had to come out to let the family and others know they were thinking of them, "To show our respects."
No one in the department had ever met Chief Sales, but said it made no difference.
"He was a firefighter and a brother," said Peter Weinrich.
The procession went by in seconds, but long enough for many people to stop and pause.
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.
Funeral services for Sales are set for Thursday in Buncombe County.