Officer James Reifschneider, age 37, was killed on April 30, 1977, at approximately 1:10 AM, after initiating a traffic stop for speeding on westbound Interstate 270 just west of Highway 67. As Officer Reifschneider stood alongside the driver’s door an approaching vehicle struck both Officer Reifschneider and the traffic violator’s vehicle. The driver of the striking vehicle left the scene and continued west on Interstate 270.
Officer Reifschneider was conveyed to St. Louis County Hospital for emergency treatment, however at 3:56 AM Officer Reifschneider became the second St. Louis County police officer to give his life in the line of duty.
The driver was later located. He was tried and found guilty of manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.
Officer Reifschneider was born on March 28, 1940 and was a ten year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department. During his career he served in the Divisions of Patrol and Criminal Investigation as well as the Intelligence Unit. During his career he received several awards, commendation and letters of appreciation from the Department and the citizens he served.