Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trooper killed in horrific crash
A State Police trooper was killed in a horrific auto accident tonight on State Route 3 in King George County, while responding to a call.
State Police did not release the name of the trooper because his next of kin had not been notified. His cruiser was heading west, from King George toward Fredericksburg about 6:45 p.m., according to a media release from the Virginia State Police. When the trooper entered the intersection of Route 3 and Madison Drive, which is the entrance to the Presidential Lakes subdivision, his patrol car collided with an eastbound Hyundai Elantra.
The impact forced the patrol car to run off the road and strike the traffic light pole. The cruiser eventually ended up in the parking lot of King’s Pizza, where it struck three parked cards.
Wesley Rogers, the bartender at the restaurant, said he heard a commotion and saw debris and papers from the state trooper’s cruiser flying through the air.
He and others ran from the restaurant toward the wreckage. The site was “pretty gruesome,” he said. “The car was literally torn in two.”
The back end of the cruiser was wrapped around the light pole, and the front end was jammed into another vehicle, Rogers said. The trooper had been thrown out of the car.
“Tons of people” ran to the scene to help, “but there was literally nothing that could be done,” Rogers said. “That was the tragic part of it.”
Harry Wehr, who lives in Presidential Lakes, about a quarter of a mile from Route 3, said he heard sirens and then a loud noise. “It sounded like a helluva crash,” he said.
When he heard all the rescue vehicles responding a few minutes later, he rode up to the scene and saw the trooper’s cruiser wrapped around the utility pole. “It was a mess. There was no doubt in my mind that whoever was in that car didn’t survive.”
He wondered what kind of emergency would have prompted the trooper to drive that fast, in an area where there are three stoplights within a quarter-mile section.
The driver and a passenger in the Elantra suffered minor injuries. They were both transported to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.
Route 3 has been closed from the area near Pern’s Grocery to the King George Post Office for several hours. King George Alert send out a message at 7:28 p.m., letting people know about the closure.
The Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team was on the scene, assisting with the investigation.