Georgia deputy killed in crash while responding to call

Crawford County Deputy Timothy Tavarus Rivers, 40, was killed in a crash Tuesday night, officials said.

Credit: Crawford County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Crawford County Sheriff's Office

Crawford County Deputy Timothy Tavarus Rivers, 40, was killed in a crash Tuesday night, officials said.

A Georgia deputy has died after being involved in a two-vehicle wreck while on duty in Crawford County, authorities said Wednesday.

Timothy Tavarus Rivers, 40, was responding to assist another officer at around 10 p.m. Tuesday when his patrol vehicle crossed into the opposite travel lane on Marshall Mill Road, about 20 miles southwest of Macon, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

While on the shoulder, Rivers made a steering maneuver to the right and collided head-on with a vehicle that was traveling north near Chapman Road, troopers said.

Both Rivers and the other driver were taken by ambulance to Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, the sheriff’s office said. Rivers died at the hospital, while the other driver is being treated for unspecified injuries. Their identity is being withheld, deputies said.

Rivers, who ran for Bibb County sheriff in 2016, had been with the Crawford sheriff’s office since September 2022. He previously served with the campus police at Wesleyan College and had no disciplinary history, according to Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council records.

Crawford Sheriff Lewis Walker said the deputy, who had two children, had responded to a myriad of calls during his 17 months with the sheriff’s office, but never once received a complaint.

“He came in and did his job well,” Walker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by phone Wednesday. “We have suffered a loss here in Crawford. It’s a tragic situation, and he’s going to be truly missed here.”

According to the Officers Down Memorial Page that tracks law enforcement deaths, 11 officers in the U.S. have died in the line of duty this year, including three in Georgia.

On Jan. 4, Deputy Eric Minix with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office died after being hit by an Alabama police officer’s patrol car as he stepped out of his own vehicle at the end of a chase, according to investigators. And on Jan. 28, Trooper Jimmy Cenescar with the GSP was killed in a crash on I-85 while attempting to stop a motorcyclist, authorities said.

Rivers is the third deputy from the Crawford sheriff’s office to die in the line of duty. In March 2011, Samuel Smith suffered a heart attack while working. In January 1975, Allen Kay O’Neal was shot to death.

Rivers’ body will be sent to the GBI Crime Lab to determine the cause of death. The GSP is conducting an ongoing investigation.

— Data specialist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this article.