A Sumter County Sheriff’s deputy died in a motorcycle wreck on Veterans Parkway in Columbus Saturday evening, authorities said.
Robert Lee Pierce, 42, was riding a motorcycle on Veterans at Sixth Avenue when the accident happened, said Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower.
“One pulled out in front of the other,” Thrower added.
Deputy Coroner Charles Newton said Pierce was on Veterans when the motorcycle and a car collided. Pierce was in civilian clothes and Newton didn’t realize he was a deputy until he saw his badge.
Specifics about the wreck aren’t yet available.
Pierce was pronounced dead at 8:07 p.m. Thrower said that Pierce’s body will be taken to Atlanta for an autopsy Monday.
Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith said Pierce had been with his department for two years. Prior to that, he worked as a deputy with Muscogee County.
“He conducted his job in a professional manner,” Smith said. “The community seemed to very quickly connect with him. He could be stern when he needed to, but he had a kind heart.”
Smith called Pierce a competent employee who was dedicated to his job. Some time ago, Pierce was hurt and was told by a doctor that he couldn’t work. Pierce requested that he be assigned to the jail, where he could sit as he worked.
“I’m real upset about it,” Smith said. “It’s a sad, sad situation. Every corner that you turn, you never know what life’s going to bring.”