By Geena Martinez
RANKIN - The community of Rankin is mourning after one of their deputies was killed in a car accident on the way to a call.
"It's always devastating to lose one of your brother officers," Upton County Sheriff, Dan Brown, said. "It's pretty hard."
With heavy hearts and a flag at half staff, the Upton County Sheriff's Office is remembering one of their own, gone too soon.
44-year-old Deputy Mike Smith was killed in the line of duty early Friday morning.
He was on his way to a fire just before 6:30 on Highway 349.
"About 6:40, a call came in that a deputy had been involved in an accident," Sheriff Brown said.
An 18-wheeler crossed into Smith's lane and hit him head on. We're told Smith did have his lights on.
Smith worked for the sheriff's office for about two and a half years.
Sheriff Brown remembers him as a gentle giant who would go out of his way for anybody.
"Mike was a big ol' guy and he was a real kind of gentle fellow. He was real soft spoken," Sheriff Brown said. "Everybody here in the community of Rankin and the people he worked with loved him to death."
He also liked to have fun with his co-workers.
"He was always cutting up," Sheriff Brown said. "He had a sense of humor where you really never did know if he was teasing you until just a few seconds later and you'd go wait a minute."
Several residents NewsWest 9 spoke with didn't want to go on camera, however all of them said Smith was a great man who truly loved protecting the county.
"He was always uplifting and you never saw him depressed very much," Sheriff Brown said.
Smith leaves behind a wife, three sons and daughter.