FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Forsyth County deputy, killed in the line of duty, is being honored for his life and service on Tuesday.

Forsyth County Deputy Sheriff II Auston Smith Reudelhuber, affectionately known as ‘Rudy’ to friends, was tragically lost in the line of duty during a devastating crash early on Saturday, Sept. 9. He was driving his patrol vehicle along the 5200 block of North NC 150 in Davidson County when he was involved in a head-on collision with a box truck.

The driver of the box truck, identified as 24-year-old William Benton of Lexington, is now facing multiple charges in connection with the incident, including misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, reckless driving and driving left of center.

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

Tuesday morning, family, friends and law enforcement from all across the state gathered at Rich Fork Baptist Church in Thomasville for Reudelhuber’s funeral service. The church also streamed the service online.

“No matter how troubled the water, no matter how tall the mountain, in the words of Maya Angelou, ‘Still we rise, still we rise, still we rise’ and may God continue to hold us through these difficult times,” Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said during the funeral.

After the funeral service, dozens and dozens of law enforcement officers joined in the processional to Deputy Rudy’s final resting place at the Salisbury National Cemetery. 

The processional left the church and went south on US 29/70 on their way to Salisbury. The long line of cars passed Davidson-Davie Community College, which is the place where Deputy Rudy’s law enforcement career began.

As the community honored the fallen deputy, flags across the state flew at half-staff in his honor by order of the governor’s office.

“I am saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Deputy Sheriff II Auston Smith Reudelhuber,” Cooper said in announcing the order. “He served North Carolina and the Forsyth County community with distinction and our prayers are with his family and friends during this most difficult time.”

“It’s very emotional. It’s one of our fallen brothers,” said Casey Tarleton, the basic law enforcement training coordinator at DDCC.

About six years ago, Tarleton had Deputy Rudy in his class.

“He was just a really good man. He was a good officer for Davidson, for Forsyth,” Tarleton said.

A graduate of West Davidson High School, Reudelhuber served his country for six years in the United States Army. Following his military service, he pursued his passion for law enforcement, graduating from the Davidson-Davie Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Program.

Reudelhuber would then get three years of experience at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, and then later join the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in March of 2021.

He spent six years in the U.S. Army and was an active member of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Reudelhuber leaves behind 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.