EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island National Guard is mourning the loss of one of its longtime members.

Command Sgt. Major Richard Winkelman died following a crash Wednesday morning on Route 102 South in Exeter. Rhode Island State Police said it appeared Winkelman lost control of his pickup truck on an icy part of the roadway, then hit a rock and a tree.

CSM Richard Winkelman (Courtesy: Rhode Island National Guard)

Winkelman, 56, was rushed to Kent Hospital with serious injuries. He was later pronounced dead.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Callahan said Winkelman joined the R.I. National Guard in 2003 and most recently served as the full-time senior enlisted advisor for the 56th Troop Command. He described Winkelman as a “dear friend and quiet professional who served his country and state with honor.”

“Richard leaves behind a deep loss,” Callahan said. “He was a consummate leader as both a commissioned and non-commissioned officer.”

“Those who knew him respected him for his humility, quite professionalism and tireless dedication to his soldiers,” he added.

Callahan said Winkelman served on numerous deployments with the 1-126th and 2-245th Aviation Battalion and the 1-133d Infantry Battalion.

The R.I. National Guard said details on services for Winkelman will be announced once those plans are made. In the meantime, resources and support have been made available to his family and fellow guard members.

Gov. Dan McKee directed Rhode Island flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Winkelman. They’ll remain at half-staff until sunset on the day he’s interred.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends, and colleagues of Rhode Island National Guard Command Sergeant Major Richard Winkelman,” McKee said. “He served our state and nation honorably and he will be deeply missed by all.”