Reynolds Fire Department Chief Richard Sales is being remembered this week as a fire service leader, a dedicated Buncombe County Schools bus driver and volunteer, as well an idol to his two children.
Sales, 52, died in a car crash Sunday morning in Iredell County. He was traveling to the Child Passenger Safety Conference in Wilmington to accept an award on behalf of his department when his car overturned and caught fire on I-40.
Sales had been the department's chief since 2008, succeeding his father, Junius "Bud" Sales Jr., who founded it in 1968. His family has lived in Reynolds, a few minutes southeast of downtown Asheville, on a farm it has owned since Cornelius and Annie Sluder Sales purchased 256 acres there in 1803.
Sales' son, Nathan, who is studying commercial photography at Appalachian State University, said his father was "extremely generous and loving."