11/24/2003

Vermont Deputy Sheriff Killed in Car Crash

Officer Down: Ruby Rainault - [Montpelier, Vermont]

By Wilson Ring, Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- An Essex County deputy sheriff was killed Monday when her cruiser was hit broadside by a truck on U.S. Route 2 in Lunenburg, officials said.

Vermont State Police Lt. George Hacking identified the victim as Deputy Ruby Rainault.

Hacking did not know the details of the accident.

Route 2 was closed for several hours Monday while state police continued to investigate the accident, Hacking said.

Jane Woodruff, the executive director of the Department of State's Attorneys' and Sheriffs' Association, said the last time a sheriff's deputy was killed in the line of duty was in 1982 when a Chittenden County deputy was killed. Woodruff did not know the details of that death.

Prior to that a deputy was killed in 1978. She did not know the details of that death, either.

"The Sheriffs' Association's heartfelt condolences go out to the Rainault family. Each sheriff's office has extended any assistance they can to the Essex County sheriff's department in this time of their loss and grief," Woodruff said.

Essex County is Vermont's least populous and most remote county. Sheriff Amos Colby has five or six part-time deputies.

Earlier this year Colby told the state police he had to give up most of his law enforcement duties because of a lack of funding.

The Essex County deputies spent most of their time transporting prisoners or on non-law enforcement duties.

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