Your Mission for this weekend,

should you choose to accept it:

The Riparian Woman’s Club is asking all residents and businesses in the City of Emporia and Greensville County to place a sign or picture of one of these three symbols on your door or window. The symbols are a Rainbow, Butterfly, or a Candle. These symbols all represent "hope."

We are asking the public to do this in support of our frontline workers and those families who have been affected by the coronavirus. We also wish to do this in support of each other.

So many people are suffering in so many different ways during this time of uncertainty and isolation. Hopefully, seeing these symbols will bring a smile to someone’s face. If so, then we have served our purpose well.

Email photos of your Symbols of Hope so that they may be shared with out of town readers who may need a pick-me-up from home...send them to news@emporianews.com.

We're all in this together...

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Seven Day Forecast for Emporia, Virginia

Virginia State Police

*** AMBER ALERT & CRITICALLY MISSING ADULT ALERT ***

*** AMBER ALERT & CRITICALLY MISSING ADULT ALERT ***

ADBUCTED COMAPANION SUSPECT
  • Age now: 12
  • Sex: Female
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Height: 5'1"
  • Weight: 112 lbs
  • Description: Angie Carolina Rodriguez-Rubio, Hispanic, Female, brown hair, brown eyes, 12 years of age, 5 foot 1 inches tall, weighing 112 lbs wearing black blouse with flowers, black leggings and white sandals
  • Age now: 48
  • Sex: Female
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Height: 5'4"
  • Weight: 140 lbs
  • Description: Elizabeth Rodriguez-Rubio, Hispanic, Female, black Hair, brown eyes, 48 years of age, 5 foot 4 inches tall, weighing 140lbs, last seen wearing a black skirt, burgundy blouse.
  •  
  • Sex: Male
  • Skin: White
  • Hair: Black
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Description: Jamie Rodriguez-Sariol, White, male, black hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 6 inches, weighing 180 lbs.

 

 

  •  

An Amber Alert for Angie Caroline Rodriguez Rubio, 12, of Harrisonburg, Va., and a Critically Missing Adult Alert for her grandmother Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio, 48, of Harrisonburg, Va., have been activated at the request of the Harrisonburg Police Department.

They were last seen at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018 in the 2800 block of South Main Street in Harrisonburg, Va., with Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol, who is believed to have abducted them.  All three individuals were believed to be traveling in Sariol’s vehicle, which was involved in a vehicle fire on I-66 in Warren County.

Angie Caroline Rodriguez Rubio is a Hispanic female with long, curly, brown hair and brown eyes, height 5’1”, weighing 112 lbs. She was last seen wearing a black blouse with flowers, black leggings-style pants and white sandals.

Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio is a Hispanic female with black hair and brown eyes, height 5’4”, weighing approximately 140 lbs. She was last seen wearing a burgundy blouse and a black skirt.

Rodriguez-Sariol is described as a Hispanic male, height 5’6”, weighing approximately 180 lbs., with short black hair and brown eyes. He has a known history of infatuation with Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio. Rodriguez-Sariol was last seen at the 2 mile marker on I-66 where the vehicle fire occurred.  

Rodriguez-Sariol is believed to be traveling north toward New York in white 2000 Volvo tractor trailer, owned by AMG Express L.L.C., with Virginia license plate number 21739PZ.  

If you have information about Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio or Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol, please call 911 or Harrisonburg Police Department at (540) 564-5050.

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Virginia State Police investigate pedestrian fatality.

On Saturday May 23, the Virginia State Police was called to Route 301, north of South Halifax Road, Sussex County, to investigate a vehicle/pedestrian accident. 

The accident occurred at approximately 1030PM in the southbound lanes of Route 301(Blue Star Highway). Jeffery J. Hinchey, a pedestrian, was pushing his bicycle southbound, in the northbound lanes of Route 301, when a 2007 Honda, traveling in the northbound lanes, struck Hinchey. The female driver pulled over and called 911. Hinchey died from his injuries at the scene. The female driver was not injured.

Alcohol was NOT a contributing factor in the incident. Family members of the deceased have been notified,

DECEASED: Jeffery Joseph Hinchey, 55 YOA, of the 12000 block of Quay Street, Chester, Virginia.

Donor Buys State Police Meals, 100 More for Those in Need

Last week, state police was contacted about a donor wishing to buy meals for all the Troopers in Area 35/Emporia.  It was asked if it would be okay if we delivered those donated meals to members of the community less fortunate than us.  The donor was so moved by the gesture that she decided to purchase 100 more meals in addition to the 21 for us to deliver.  That challenge was gladly accepted by the men and women working this area. 

Trooper T.S. Session quickly began putting her Crime Prevention contacts to work and developed a list of people in need within the community.  The list tried to focus on children and elderly within the Emporia/Greensville County area. 

Meanwhile, Bojangles in Emporia began putting a plan in place to prepare the food to be delivered. 

Friday morning (April 10), Area 35 and Safety Division Troopers converged on Bojangles and split into small groups - armed with the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) & social distancing - to start the delivery process.  In addition to the meals, goodie bags were put together for the kids that included crayons, coloring books, pencils and VSP Junior Trooper stickers.  Also, each food order was given a card with the quote, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” to remind everyone to take care of one another.

In the end, everyone was overjoyed and a few tears were shed (from the Troopers and the people!)  And most importantly, everyone had a meal.

Sergeant S.A. Jackson, Sergeant M.A. Hernandez, Master Trooper C.D. Tucker (Sex Offender Investigative Unit), Trooper T.S. Session and Trooper M.T. Mann (l to r)

Trooper J.M. Balek, Trooper R.A. Vaughan, First Sergeant B.E.J. Jones, Senior Trooper W.K. Sasser (Safety Division Area 65) and Trooper L.W. Milyko (Safety Division Area 65) (l to r)

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES OF GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND DIRECTIVES

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police encourages all Virginians to adhere to Virginia Governor Northam’s directives and do their part by staying home in order to best mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 within the Commonwealth. State troopers, for their personal protection and for the safety of the public, are minimizing their direct contact with the public. All Department recruitment events, public presentations, training, ceremonies, etc., have all been canceled or postponed through June 10, 2020.

Governor Northam has directed state and local law enforcement to initially address violations of the following Executive Order 53 and Executive Order 55 directives with education and warnings. Persistent violation of these Executive Order (EO) directives can result in an individual(s) or business being charged with a class one misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine:

  • Prohibition of all public and private in-person, indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 individuals – with the exception of the operation of businesses not required to close under EO 53 and the gathering of family members living in the same residence;
  • Closure of all dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms and farmers markets;
  • Any brick and mortar retail business (not listed in paragraph 5 of EO 53) failing to limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.
  • Closure of all public access to recreational and entertainment businesses;
  • Closure of public beaches for all activity, except for exercising and fishing;
  • Cancellation of in-person classes and instruction at institutions of higher education;
  • Cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all privately-owned campgrounds

 Virginia State Police have been and will continue to assess Virginia EO violations on a case-by-case basis.

 State police is required to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth and will continue to have a visible presence within our communities and on the roads for the safety of those living, working and traveling in Virginia. The law still requires law enforcement to have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle. Virginia State Police will not be making random traffic stops on vehicles nor conducting checkpoints to determine if a driver is traveling for a permissible reason, as granted by EO 53 and EO 55.

The current Governor’s Executive Orders related to COVID-19:

  • Do not require an individual to carry documentation related to one’s purpose of travel;
  • Do not close Virginia roads/interstates to Virginia residents;
  • Do not restrict non-Virginia residents from traveling into and/or through Virginia;
  • Do not prevent Virginians from traveling out of the state. State police does encourage any Virginian(s) traveling out-of-state to check, in advance, the other state(s) for any travel restrictions in effect for that state(s). Governor Northam has advised Virginians returning from out-of-state and/or international travel to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

For any additional questions related to the statewide “Stay at Home” order, please go to www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/faq.

Virginia State Trooper struck by passing motorist

SUSSEX COUNTY: On Wednesday, March 25 at approximately 8:00 this morning, a Virginia State Trooper was on the closed median of southbound Interstate 95, south of Route 602,  observing traffic, when he was struck by another vehicle. The driver of a 2004 Chevrolet pick-up truck, Jerry Lee Vick, lost control of his vehicle, ran off the roadway, and struck the troopers vehicle in the rear. (See attached photos.) The trooper and Mr. Vick suffered minor, non-life threatening injuries. Vick, of Fort Washington, Maryland, was charged with reckless driving.

Cow Snarls Traffic on Interstate 64

Currently the Virginia State Police has the eastbound lanes of 64 at Greenbriar shutdown due to a cow on the interstate.At approximately 1:04PM the VSP received a call of a cow running down the interstate. Troopers have secured the cow, and are awaiting on animal control at this time. Further details to follow.

Update - Cow has been taken into custody. 
 
Earlier this afternoon, the owner of  a 98 GMC pick-up truck was pulling a trailer with livestock, on Interstate 64, in the city of Chesapeake. At some point, the livestock, a cow, was able to get loose from the trailer, and jump off the trailer uninjured. The cow continued down the interstate for over a mile causing a backup in both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 64. With the assistance of Chesapeake Police Department, VDOT, and some helpful citizens, the cow is safely back with its owner.

37 GRADUATE THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ACADEMY

RICHMOND – The 37 members of the 131st Basic Session officially graduated Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in advance of their originally scheduled graduation date of Friday, March 20, 2020. In accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s directives related to COVID-19, traditional commencement exercises were canceled for Friday for the 36 new Troopers and one new Special Agent Accountant.

“This is the first time in decades that state police has had to postpone an Academy graduation ceremony,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “However, this in no way diminishes the Department’s pride in or appreciation of these new Troopers and Special Agent Accountant joining our ranks. We look forward to bringing these men and women and their families to our campus at a later date in order to properly celebrate their accomplishments of completing the Virginia State Police Academy.”

Colonel Settle met with the graduates mid-morning Tuesday for an official Uniform Inspection and to share a few final words with the class. The new Troopers and Special Agent Accountant then filed into the Academy and proceeded up the marble steps – which is an honor only afforded the trainees upon graduation. At the top of the steps, Colonel Settle and the Academy Staff officially congratulated the graduates. Colonel Settle presented each graduate with a Superintendent’s Challenge Coin.

“Since these graduates will not receive their official diploma until their graduation ceremony, each was presented a Challenge Coin,” said Colonel Settle. “They are the only State Police graduates to ever receive a coin from the Superintendent, which I hope they accept as a constant reminder of their oath to serve our Commonwealth with valor and pride, especially during such challenging times.”

The class has received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management. The members of the 131st Basic Session began their 29 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy on Aug. 21, 2019.

The graduates of the 131st Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Florida, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.

The new Troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia the week of March 23, 2020. For their final phase of training, each Trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area. Special Agent Accountant Mills will report to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office to begin his final training phase.

131st  BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

 

131st Basic Graduate                                      Hometown                                         Assignment

Ian Trent Abernathy                                        Chesapeake                             Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Abdulrahman Mohamed Aboutabl              Harrisonburg                                       Augusta

Thomas Jefferson Acosta, Jr.                          Jacksonville, FL                                   New Kent

Rafael J. Aguayo                                              Ridge, NY                                             Henrico

John Joseph Barrera, III                                  Williamsburg                                      Norfolk/Virginia Beach

William Hooker Bonnet, IV                            Forest                                                   Arlington

Anthony Joseph Bradt, Jr.                               Bloomingburg, NY                             Prince William

Shane Douglas Brooks                                    Chilhowie                                            Roanoke

Jacob Allen Burke                                            Radford                                               Arlington

Travis Todd Carr                                                Ivor                                                     Isle of Wight

Adam Van Clampitt                                          Lynchburg                                          Campbell

Ridge Tamos Duncan                                      Burke                                                   Prince William

Johnathan Dale Fish                                        Lynchburg                                           Chesterfield

Timothy Manning Fisher                                 Wake Forest, NC                                 Accomack

Sean Edward Glennan                                     Sewell, NJ                                            Henrico

Joshua Bryan Good                                         Luray                                                   Shenandoah

Cody Edward Gray                                          Bland                                                   Russell

Ricky Ray Hairston                                          Eden, NC                                             Campbell

Jordan Holt Hamlett                                       Naruna                                                Campbell

Joseph Holloman, III                                       Windsor                                               Brunswick

Nathan Allen Jennings                                    Dublin                                                  Roanoke

Duane Hunter Knox                                         Troutdale                                            Roanoke

Jackson Stuart Peach Lowther                        Gloucester                                           Frederick

Brooke Louise Martin                                     Mechanicsville                                    New Kent

John Hume Mills*                                           Gainesville                                          Appomattox

Paul Steven Perry                                            Gate City                                 Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Indiana Jacob Raccanello                               Locust Grove                                       Culpeper

Jacob William Reaves                                     Chatham                                             Greene

Dru Imani Khianti Redden-Robinson               Chantilly                                              Fairfax

Travon Lamont Smith                                     South Hill                                            Brunswick

Derek Emanuel Spencer                                  Abingdon                                             Botetourt

Nathan Andrew Stidham                                Wise                                                    Craig

Larry Darnell Tucker, Jr.                                  Hurt                                                     Amherst

Benjamin Perfecto Villa, II                              Palmyra                                               Augusta

Alexander Frederick West                              Culpeper                                             Frederick

Shawn Douglas Williams                                Ewing                                                  Nottoway

Holden Seth Young                                         Lebanon                                              Botetourt

*Special Agent Accountant

 

SUPER BOWL FANS DON’T LET FANS DRIVE DRUNK IN VIRGINIA

RICHMOND – Whether a 49ers or Chiefs fan, a guaranteed game-day loser is anyone who chooses to drive drunk on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2). The Virginia State Police is reminding all Virginians that if your game plan includes drinking as part of the Super Bowl festivities, then add a designated driver to your lineup.

In 2018, there were 7,181 alcohol-related crashes that claimed 278 lives on Virginia’s highways.* The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

“Not only does an impaired driver put lives at risk on our highways, but also runs the very likely risk of getting arrested for DUI,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “On Sunday, Virginia troopers will be stepping up patrols during and following the Super Bowl in order to deter, detect and arrest drunk drivers. No game or drink is worth losing a life over, so please be responsible and Drive to Save Lives.”

If attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:

  • Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins.

  • If you don't have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay in for the night.

  • Use your community's sober ride program, reserve a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, or take public transportation.

  • Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.

  • Always buckle up – it's still your best defense against drunk drivers.

If hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.

  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.

  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.

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Wednesday Morning Crash Claims Two Souls

At approximately 4:24 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, January 29, the Virginia State Police Communications Center received a call of a two vehicle accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 25mm. Upon troopers arriving to the scene it was determined that a sedan and a tractor trailer had been involved in the accident and both driver and front seat passenger of the sedan were deceased.

Preliminary investigations reveal that a 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage was traveling in the right lane of Interstate 95 when it experienced possible mechanical problems. The driver stopped in the right lane of travel with no hazard light illuminated. While stopped in the lane of travel, a 2006 Volvo tractor trailer was traveling in the right lane and struck the Mitsuibishi in the rear, pushing the Mitsuibishi onto the shoulder. The tractor trailer lost control, slid off onto the shoulder and overturned. 

The driver of  the Mitsuibishi and front seat passenger both died upon impact. The third passenger, rear seat, was taken to the Medical College of Virginia, with non-life threatening injuries.  The driver of the tractor trailer suffered minor injuries. 

Notification has been made to family members. The driver is 57 year old Melanie Tapper of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and the front seat passenger is a female minor.

Both driver and passengers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. Alcohol was not a contributing factor.
 

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US 460 in Sussex Sounty Closed Briefley Wednesday After Fatal Accident

Currently the Virginia State Police is conducting an investigation on a single vehicle accident that has resulted in a fatality in Sussex County.

The Communications center was notified at approximately 3:18 p.m. of a vehicle off the road way on Route 460, east of Cabin Point Road (Route 602). The driver of the vehicle died upon impact, and the female passenger was flown to the Medical College of Virginia with serious injuries.

The eastbound lanes of Route 460 will be shut down for an unknown amount of time as Troopers investigate the scene. VDOT has incorporated a detour onto Cabin Point Road for eastbound traffic.

Preliminary investigations reveal that a 2019 Toyota Rav4, driven by, 73 year old, Carl Bernard Thorne, when he lost control, ran off the road and struck a tree. Thorne, of the 3000 block of Middle Ridge Road, Hampshire, West Virginia, died upon impact. His female passenger was flown to VCU with serious injuries. Thorne was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. Alcohol was not a contributing factor. Family members have been notified.

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE LAUNCHES TROOPER RECRUITMENT WEBSITE

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police is welcoming the New Year and a new decade with a new recruitment website. Located at www.vatrooper.com, the site is the first of its kind for the Department and highlights the Virginia State Police mission, culture, Academy life and extensive career opportunities available to trooper-trainees.

“This website has been a long-time coming and we recognize its vital importance towards attracting a new generation of diverse applicants to join the state police family,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The site is mobile-friendly and highlights the multitude of unique career opportunities the Virginia State Police has to offer those interested in a law enforcement career.”

The new website, created in partnership with CapTech Consulting, provides a user-friendly, informative experience for those visiting the site. In an effort to reach a broader, more diverse population of applicants, the site provides a behind-the-scenes narrative of life as a trooper, the steps to becoming a Virginia trooper, training, career opportunities, benefits, Recruitment Unit contacts and direct access to an employment application. The mobile-friendly website will soon include video vignettes featuring state police personnel and their stories.

“We, as a statewide law enforcement agency, must reflect the populations we serve and protect across the Commonwealth,” said Colonel Settle. “Every trooper is held to an oath to perform his or her duties ‘…without fear, favor, or prejudice.’ This new recruitment website is specifically designed to reinforce our employees’ dedication to duty with each and every contact we have with the public. The Virginia State Police is fully committed to embrace inclusivity and diversity in all its forms, especially among its workforce.”

“There are a host of best practices to advance workforce diversity and inclusion,” said Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. “This recruitment website is only one of those many tools and an important step in Virginia State Police’s overall commitment to diversifying its workforce.  While we have much more to do, this step signals the state police’s continuing efforts to achieve a fundamental shift in its sworn workforce and the overall culture of the agency, so that it can more effectively serve and protect a diverse Commonwealth.   I am looking forward to working together to further this important work, so that the agency becomes a national exemplar for issues relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion in law enforcement.”

By the end of this year, the state police Recruitment Unit will have made contact with more than 2,300 Virginians and out-of-state residents in its ongoing efforts to build a more diversified workforce by attracting women and men of the highest quality and character.

“Virginia’s robust economy makes for a very competitive field among all employers to attract and retain qualified job seekers,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “In an effort to help state police fill critical positions, Governor Northam committed this year to pay raises for all state employees and previously supported an increase in the starting salary for new state troopers. The launch of the state police recruitment website expands the Department’s reach and access to potential applicants.”

Starting salary for a new trooper entering the Virginia State Police Academy is $44,290. Not only do trooper-trainees earn a salary while training at the Academy, but also receive benefits including life insurance, health insurance, sick leave and paid vacation.  Twelve months following graduation from the State Police Academy, a new trooper’s annual salary increases to $48,719. Troopers assigned to the Northern Virginia region start at $55,340 upon graduation and then, 12 months after graduation, their annual salary increases to $60,874. For more information on salary, benefits, training, etc., go to www.vatrooper.com and contact a state police recruiter.

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Nine Traffic Deaths in Five Days on Virginia's Highways

RICHMOND, Va. - With increased traffic volumes on Virginia's roadways anticipated for the remainder of the week and throughout the weekend, the Virginia State Police is encouraging all drivers to increase their attention to safe driving. Since Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, through midnight Christmas day, Dec. 25, 2019, nine people lost their lives in six traffic crashes on Virginia's highways. 

 The six reported crashes occurred in Goochland, Loudoun, Richmond and Rockingham counties, and the cities of Chesapeake and Newport News. Three died in the Goochland County crash and two died in the Rockingham County crash. The Newport News crash claimed the life of a pedestrian. Half of the crashes occurred on Christmas Eve day. 

The state police are reminding all drivers to be alert and drive distraction free at all times while behind the wheel. Sharing the road responsibly with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles, complying with speed limits, driving sober and always wearing a seat belt are required by law of all drivers in Virginia. 

Year to date, preliminary data reports 800 adults, teenagers and children have been killed in traffic crashes across Virginia. Alert and safe drivers can help keep this number from increasing within the final days of 2019.

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West Virginia woman killed in single vehicle accident in Skippers

Greensville County- One person, Erin Christine Queen, 55 YOA, of Salem, West Virginia, was killed on the evening of December 2 in a single vehicle accident which occurred in Greensville County. The accident occurred at approximately 7:09 p.m., at the Pilot Truck Stop parking lot, east of Interstate 95.

Preliminary investigation reveals that Ms. Erin Queen exited the tractor trailer she was driving and began walking towards the store. At some point, Ms. Queen stopped in front of her vehicle, while another tractor trailer (2018 Freightliner) was backing up into the pumping station. Ms. Queen was struck by the reversing tractor trailer. The driver of the freightliner was alerted by another driver that he had struck something, and upon pulling forward, ran over Ms. Queen a second time. 

Ms. Queen was taken to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Notification has been made to family members. Alcohol was not a contributing factor in the accident. No charges will be placed at this time.

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SEVEN LIVES LOST ON VIRGINIA HIGHWAYS DURING 2019 THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Virginians Reminded to Keep Virginia Safe During the Winter Holiday Season

RICHMOND – Of the seven people killed in Virginia traffic crashes during the 2019 Thanksgiving weekend, two were teenagers and three were not wearing seatbelts. Though this past holiday statistical counting period saw fewer fatal crashes than in previous years, even one fatality is one too many.

During the five-day period which began at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 27, 2019 and concluded at midnight Dec. 1, 2019, seven men and women lost their lives in seven traffic crashes on Virginia highways. The fatal crashes occurred in the City of Virginia Beach and the counties of Bedford, Henrico, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Rockbridge and Stafford. Six of those killed were drivers and alcohol was a factor in at least two of the fatal crashes. A 19-year-old female was killed in the Bedford County crash and an 18-year-old male lost his life in the Stafford County crash.

There were 12 traffic fatalities during the 2018 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and 14 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2017. *

In an effort to prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation CARE is an annual, state-sponsored, national program during which state police increases its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period.

The 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 5,221 speeders and 1,798 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers charged 83 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and cited 490 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.

State police responded to 1,312 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth, with 178 of those resulting in injuries and seven in fatalities. State police also assisted 2,294 disabled/stranded motorists during the Thanksgiving weekend.

“With only 27 days left in 2019, the Virginia State Police reminds all drivers to do their part to keep the winter holiday season as safe as possible on our highways,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Let’s end this decade by working together to save lives on our roadways, instead of putting them at risk by engaging in reckless driving behaviors. Make the right choice by always wearing a seatbelt, safely sharing the road with all vehicles and pedestrians, and by not driving intoxicated or ‘intexticated.’”

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGING MOTORISTS TO DRIVE SAFE AND MAKE IT TO THE HOLIDAY TABLE THIS THANKSGIVING

Buckle Up, Phone Down – Don’t Drive Intexticated

RICHMOND – As Virginians take to the roads this Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday with family and friends, Virginia State Police is urging motorists to put down their phones and buckle up so everyone makes it safely to the holiday table.

With the onset of the 2019 winter holiday season, state police is proud to support the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Highway Safety Office and AAA Mid-Atlantic with its new traffic safety campaign aimed at heightening awareness of the deadly dangers of distracted driving. Earlier this month, Virginia State Police Superintendent, Col. Gary T. Settle, and Trooper-Trainees of the 131st Basic Academy Session signed a banner to pledge their support to the “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated” campaign and its life-saving messaging.

“The choices you make as a vehicle driver impact not only you and your passengers, but everyone else you happen to be sharing the road with at that given moment,” said Settle. “Avoid distractions, ensure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up, comply with speed limits and never drive drunk. If we drive like every car is filled with our friends and family, we can make sure there are no empty chairs at the Thanksgiving table this year.”

To further prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police will once again be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. As part of the state-sponsored, national program, state police will be increasing its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period, Nov. 27, 2019 through Dec. 1, 2019.

The 2018 Thanksgiving Holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 599 individuals who failed to obey the law and buckle up, as well as issuing 199 citations for child safety seat violations on Virginia’s highways statewide. In addition, state police cited 7,629 speeders and 2,192 reckless drivers. A total of 102 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

There were 12 traffic fatalities during the 2018 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and 14 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2017. *

With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

*Source: Virginia Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

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Virginia State Police fatal Brunswick County

Virginia State Police was called to the 3500 block of Robinson Ferry Road in Brunswick County on November 9, to investigate a single vehicle, single occupant fatal accident. 

Preliminary investigations reveal, at approximately 7:39 p.m., Mr. Steven Blythe was driving a 2003 Honda Accord  when he ran off the roadway into the southbound lanes of Robinson Ferry Road. The vehicle then struck several mailboxes and a tree. Mr. Steven Ray Blythe, 30 YOA, of the 11500 block of Robinson Ferry Road, Broadnax, Virginia, died upon impact.

Mr. Blythe was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, and it is unknown at this time if alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident. Notification to next of kin has been made.

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Brunswick Counry High Speed Chase Ends in Fatality

Virginia State Police was called to investigate a single vehicle accident that was a result of a vehicle pursuit by Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.
 
Preliminary investigations reveal that at approximately 10:48 p.m. yesterday evening (October19), the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department attempted to pull over a 2010 Honda Civic for speeding 84MPH in a 70 MPH speed zone. The Honda Civic was traveling in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85, when the deputy attempted to pull over Valeton Junior Pratt. Mr. Pratt failed to pull over and a pursuit entailed. Mr. Pratt attempted to take exit 34 at a high rate of speed, crossed over Route 630, and struck a tree.
 
Mr. Valeton J. Pratt, 27 YOA, of the 1000 block of First Avenue, Lawrenceville, VA., died upon impact. His front seat passenger, Keith M. Haskins, of South Hill, Virginia, suffered non-life threatening injuries, and was taken to VCU Hospital in South Hill, Virginia.
 
Mr. Pratt was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. It is unknown at this time if alcohol played a contributing factor. 
 
Notification to family members has been made.

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WELCOMES 59 NEW TROOPERS TO ITS RANKS

RICHMOND – On Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, the Commonwealth graduated its 130th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 59 new troopers were presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County. Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Ryant Washington was in attendance of the graduation ceremony.

The new troopers have received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management. The members of the 130th Basic Session began their 29 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy March 20, 2019.

The graduates of the 130th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Alabama, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Upon graduation, the new troopers reported to their individual duty assignments across Virginia the week of October 7. For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.

130th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

  Name

Hometown

Assignment

Kevin Alexander Allen

Virginia Beach

Hampton/Newport News

Maximo L. Arduini

Hamilton, New Jersey

Chesterfield

Domanic James Banish

Ticonderoga, New York

Fairfax

Brian Wayne Barrett

Bristol

Scott

Richard Shayne Brooks

Suffolk

York

Sung Hoon Cho

Sterling

Springfield

Jabreia Camay Clark

South Hill

Mecklenburg

Christopher Thomas Cortese

Guilderland, New York

Orange

Kelsea Lee Crotts

Smithfield

Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Anthony Carroll Daulton, Jr.

Appomattox

Prince Edward

Luis Brian Delgado

Chester

Chesterfield

 Aaron Matthew Dorr

Suffolk

Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Nicholas Charles Fleischer

Bangor, Pennsylvania

Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Jacob Peter Gooch

Woodbridge

Springfield

Keith Aaron Griese

Manassas

Prince William

Devin Nicholas Hacker

Courtland

Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Chance Alan Harrington

Rural Retreat

Frederick

Justin Roy Harris

Seville, Ohio

Campbell

Matthew Lane Hedgepeth

Chester

Hampton/Newport News

Andrew Ryan Jennings

Charlottesville

Arlington

Tanner Blake Jones

Damascus

Halifax

William Revely Keesee

Amherst

Franklin

Alexander Stephen King

Indianapolis, Indiana

Fairfax

Jason Patrick Kirk

Wytheville

Wythe

Joseph James Kulick

Edwardsville, Pennsylvania

Hampton/Newport News

Michael B. LeSage

Port Haywood

York

William McKinley Lester, II

Wise

Scott

William H. Littlejohn, Jr.

Chester

Dinwiddie

Joseph Hunter Lowe

Rural Retreat

Springfield

Larry Nathan Luna

Hackensack, New Jersey

Springfield

Jalante Rashard Manns

Roanoke

Isle of Wight

William Wyatt McCraw

Danville

Pittsylvania

Matthew David Meadows

Verona

Augusta

Conlan Jonathan Miller

Herndon

Fairfax

Bradley Austin Mills

Ashland

Hanover

Christopher Edward Miskin

Midlothian

Chesterfield

Adolfo Alberto Orellana

North Chesterfield

Stafford

Caleb James Parnell

Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania

Rockbridge

Jesse Dylan Peebles

Fries

Albemarle

Joshua Ryan Pelletier

La Crosse

Lunenburg

William Austin Peters

Rural Retreat

Dinwiddie

Alexander Carl Pike

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

Warren

Devin Joseph Pluchino

Virginia Beach

Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Isaiah Chance Puckett

Ararat

Botetourt

Katie Jean Reeves

Bealeton

Madison

Benjamin Alan Rhodes

Bracey

Mecklenburg

James Matthew Riggs

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

James City

Alexandra Nicole Roberts

Bumpass

Stafford

David M. Saunders

Henrico

Hanover

Kevin Peter Schumann

Centreville

Fairfax

Timofey Smosyuk

Vestal, New York

Henrico

Lloyd Ryan Spencer

Patrick Springs

Botetourt

Justin Lee Sproston

Gloucester

Mathews

Ryan James Walker

Midlothian

Rockbridge

 Matthew Allan Wilkinson

Clarksville

Appomattox

John Dakota Winebrenner

Danville

Pittsylvania

John Carper Workman

Wytheville

Albemarle

John Tyler Wukich

Christiansburg

Albemarle

James Brandon Yates

Lebanon

Botetourt

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Local Bicyclist Killed in Tragic Hit and Run

Virginia State Police investigate fatal hit and run in Greensville County.

On September 28, 2019, the Greensville County Sheriffs dispatch center received a 911 call of bicyclist lying in the grass near the 1000 block of Slagle Lake Road. Upon arrival of deputies and EMS, it was determined that the bicyclist had been struck by a vehicle and died at the scene. The bicyclist was identified as Henry Chester Boone, 81 YOA, of the 2100 block of Slagle Lake Road, Emporia, Virginia.

Greensville County contacted the Virginia State Police to investigate the fatality.

Preliminary investigation revealed Mr. Boone was riding a 2009 Fuji team road bike southbound on Slagle Lake Road when he was struck from behind by an unknown vehicle that fled the scene. Mr. Boone was thrown from the bicycle and suffered life threatening injuries.

The Virginia State Police accident reconstruction team was called to the scene.  Based on evidence located at the scene, they were able to identify and locate a suspect vehicle, a 2013 Hyundai Tucson with damages consistent with the crash.  The driver, Christopher Harley Reed, 35 YOA of Emporia, was arrested and charged with felony hit and run and involuntary manslaughter.  He was transported to the Southside Regional Jail and received a secured bond.

Currently this is still an ongoing criminal investigation. Anyone with any information relating to this crime are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at (757) 424-6800.

State Police would like to thank the Greensville Sheriffs Department with their assistance in this investigation.

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HEAT Program Honors Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies and Officers

Awards Recognize Efforts in Auto-Theft Reduction

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia State Police (VSP) Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program presented awards to three Virginia police departments and nine police officers to recognize their efforts in reducing vehicle theft and theft of vehicle parts in the commonwealth. The awards ceremony took place on August 26 during the annual conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and Foundation held in Norfolk.

The Henrico County Police Division was the winner in the agency category serving more than 100,000 citizens. The Roanoke City Police Department took the top prize in the agency category serving serving a population from 20,001 to 100,000, while the Salem Police Department was recognized in the same category as an agency finalist.

Officer Melissa Foster with the Roanoke City Police Department and Officer Shane Richardson with the Henrico County Police Division took the top honors in the individual category. Detective Mark Adkins with the Salem Police Department and Detective Christopher Gordon with the Henrico County Police Division were named individual awards finalists.

Certificates of merit were presented to Officers Aubrey Hughes, William Jenkins Jr. and Shawn Maxwell Jr. with the Henrico County Police Division. Also receiving certificates of merit were Detective Thomas Nash, Roanoke City Police Department and Officer Thomas Newman, Salem Police Department.

“We are grateful to law enforcement agencies and officers from throughout Virginia who join with the Virginia State Police in fighting vehicle theft,” said First Sgt. Thomas Molnar, HEAT Program Coordinator. “These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize outstanding efforts.”

The HEAT Awards program is an annual competition open to all Virginia law enforcement entities and employees who work in auto theft enforcement and prevention. Nominees must demonstrate excellence in at least two of the following four categories: enforcement, intelligence gathering, prevention and recovery.

“Virginia citizens also have an important role to play in preventing auto theft,” said First Sgt. Molnar. “By following a few common-sense tips, they can protect their vehicles.” The HEAT program recommends the following:

  • Take your keys and lock your doors every time you leave your vehicle.
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. Place them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when out and about.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Invest in an audible or visible deterrent.
  • Install GPS or other tracking devices.
  • Learn more about the HEAT program at HEATreward.com.

The Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program was established in 1992 to educate citizens and law enforcement about the theft of vehicles and vehicle parts. For more information, visit HEATreward.com. Visit Virginia State Police online at www.vsp.virginia.gov.

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LABOR DAY WEEKEND TRAFFIC CRASHES CLAIM 11 LIVES IN VIRGINIA

Five traffic deaths result from three motorcycle crashes

RICHMOND, Va. – With 11 traffic deaths occurring over the Labor Day weekend, the preliminary number of total traffic deaths for Virginia in 2019 is quickly catching up to the 2018 to-date total. As of Sept. 1, 2019, there have been a reported 510 traffic fatalities statewide, compared to 520 fatalities last year on this date.

“Despite our enforcement and outreach efforts in advance of the Labor Day weekend, Virginia still had 11 men and women killed in traffic crashes on our highways,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Speed and alcohol were common factors in many of the holiday fatal crashes, which pushed us over 500 traffic deaths for the year so far. At what point have Virginians had enough of men, women, teens and children dying on our highways? All we ask is for Virginians to make responsible driving practices and habits an every-day priority. Please make that commitment today, so we can save more lives than lose them in these final months of 2019.”

During the 2019 four-day holiday statistical counting period, 11 men and women were killed in nine traffic crashes across the Commonwealth. The traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Franklin, Goochland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania and Wise. Prince William County had two separate fatal crashes occur over the Labor Day weekend. Prince William and Franklin counties each had one traffic crash that resulted in two deaths. State police investigated a total 684 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

Motorcycles were involved in three of the nine fatal traffic crashes. Both of the Prince William County fatal crashes involved motorcycles, with one claiming the lives of the motorcycle’s operator and passenger. The Franklin County crash also involved a motorcycle, with the operator and passenger being killed in the crash.

Both state police and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provide extensive training for motorcycle enthusiasts. On Sept. 21, 2019 in Wytheville and Salem, Virginia State Police will be offering its “Ride 2 Save Lives” Motorcycle Assessment Courses free of charge. Simply sign up through the Virginia State Police Facebook page. Information on DMV’s Virginia Rider Training Program Courses is available at https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#m_course.asp.

The Virginia State Police participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2019 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) andCheckpoint Strikeforce. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program began Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at 12:01 a.m., and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.

As a result of state police traffic safety enforcement efforts during the 2019 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers:

  • Stopped 7,279 speeders
  • Stopped 2,283 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 76 drivers for DUI/DUID
  • Cited 723 seat belt violations
  • Assisted 2,148 disabled/stranded motorists

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE CAPTAIN PROMOTED TO EXECUTIVE STAFF

RICHMOND – Effective Aug. 10, 2019, Virginia State Police Captain Tricia W. Powers joins the Department’s Executive Staff as a Deputy Director of the Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS). State police Superintendent, Colonel Gary T. Settle, promoted Powers to the rank of major following the retirement of BASS Deputy Director, Major Lehew W. Miller III.

Powers has been serving as the commander of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division since her promotion to captain in 2016. Since transferring to CJIS as a lieutenant in 2013, Powers has provided leadership to the division’s 250 sworn and civilian personnel, and overseen the state’s Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE), Sex Offender Registry, Firearms Transaction Center, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), and the Uniform Crime Reporting/Incident Based Reporting program. She represented the Department as a gubernatorial appointee to the SEARCH Consortium and as the FBI CJIS Systems Officer.

Powers graduated the Virginia State Police Academy in 1994 with the 90th Basic Session. Her first patrol assignment as a new trooper was in the Culpeper Division’s Area 13 Office in Winchester. In 1997, she was promoted to special agent and advanced to the rank of first sergeant working in general investigations and drug enforcement in the Culpeper and Chesapeake Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Field Offices. She returned to uniform as a first sergeant in 2010 as the commander of the Chesapeake Division’s Area 32 office in Norfolk/Virginia Beach. In 2012, Powers was promoted to lieutenant in the Richmond Division.  A native of Luray, Va., Powers is a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Bridgewater College and a master of criminal justice degree from Troy State University.

Miller was appointed to the BASS Deputy Director position in September 2016. Previously he had served three years as the division commander of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Division. Prior to his promotion to captain of the ICT Division, Miller served nine years in the capacities of lieutenant and first sergeant in the BCI Criminal Intelligence Division. He joined State Police as a dispatcher in 1992 and was assigned to the State Police Culpeper Division. He graduated from the State Police Academy in May 1994 with his first patrol assignment in Caroline County. Three years later, Miller was promoted to special agent in the Drug Enforcement Section of the Richmond BCI Field Office. A graduate of Emory and Henry College with a bachelor’s degree in history and geography, he has received numerous service awards during his tenure with the Department and has served on numerous state and national boards and subcommittees related to public safety telecommunications and homeland security. He is also a 2007 graduate of the National Criminal Justice Command College.

The Bureau of Administrative and Support Services consists of the Information and Communication Technologies, Criminal Justice Information Services, Human Resources, Property and Finance, and Training divisions. Employees within this Bureau provide the Virginia State Police, as well as local and other state law enforcement, with support and essential services through their expertise and technical and professional backgrounds. BASS includes the largest number of civilian personnel within the Department.

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State Police seek male driver that fled on foot during a traffic stop

GREENSVILLE COUNTY - On today's date, July 16, at approximately 9:27 a.m., a Virginia State Trooper notified the Communications Center of a traffic stop on Interstate 95 at exit 13 which resulted in a foot pursuit of the male driver.

State Police are in the area on I-95 and and Otterdam Road looking for a light skinned male approximately 5'7", dark black/brown hair and eyes, last seen wearing a cartoon character shirt and dark red shorts. If male suspect is seen, please contact the VSP at #911 or (757) 424-6800, so not approach the suspect, it is unknown if suspect is armed.

State Police has one subject in custody and are being assisted by local Sheriffs Departments in the search of the male driver.

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2019 INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY PROVES DEADLY & DANGEROUS FOR VIRGINIA HIGHWAYS

Seven Traffic Fatalities; 79 DUI Arrests During July 4th Statistical Period

RICHMOND – Unfortunately, thousands of drunk, speeding and reckless drivers kept Virginia State Police busy and put countless lives at risk during the 2019 July 4th holiday weekend across the Commonwealth. Preliminary reports indicate seven people died in six traffic crashes during the holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 3, 2019 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2019.

The six fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Highland, Loudoun, Lunenburg, Nelson, Pittsylvania and Spotsylvania. The Spotsylvania County crash on July 5 resulted in two deaths. Altogether, the crashes claimed the lives of four drivers and three passengers. Four of the deceased were not wearing seat belts.

“Recognizing the potential for more holiday travelers and festivities with July 4th falling on a Thursday this year, we made certain to have every available trooper working Virginia’s highways during the holiday weekend,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Even though state police did its part to enhance its response times and traffic safety enforcement efforts, too many motorists still put their lives and others at risk during the holiday weekend by failing to drive smart, safe or sober.”

During the Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) three-day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers arrested 79 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 5,389 speeders and 1,752 reckless drivers, issued 723 citations for individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 548 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,791 disabled/stranded motorists. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.

“We are at the height of the summer travel season, which is why we need every Virginian committed to being a safe, responsible driver. Please put as much attention into driving, buckling up and complying with speed limits as you do with planning the summer getaway. You and your family’s safety depend on it,” said Colonel Settle.

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30th SESSION OF THE YOUTH CADET LAW PROGRAM GRADUATES 46 FROM VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ACADEMY

High School Juniors Experience Academy Life of a VSP Trainee

RICHMOND – This week 46 high school students from across the Commonwealth experienced life as a Virginia State Police trooper trainee. Today they became the 30th generation of the Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program, which is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Police and The American Legion. At a ceremony held at the Virginia State Police Academy in North Chesterfield County, the teenagers were presented their graduation certificates Friday (June 28, 2019) afternoon.

The 30th Session of the Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program began Sunday, June 23, 2019. The weeklong training curriculum is for high school students who have completed their junior year. Cadets experience a life similar to a trooper-in-training, complete with daily room inspections and instruction by state police troopers on Department operations, crime scene investigations, officer survival, undercover operations, driver improvement, scuba training, defensive tactics and firearms safety. As part of their training, the cadets also undergo a variety of physical agility exercises used in the Virginia State Police applicant testing process.

“This collaborative program is such an invaluable experience for those youth interested in pursuing a law enforcement career,” says Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “The training not only introduces them to the instruction, skillsets and discipline required of today’s public safety professional, but also provides a positive way for our Department to interact one-on-one with today’s youth.”

Cadet Max Wohlschlegel was selected for the Jessica J. Cheney Spirit Award. The annual award is presented in memory of Trooper Jessica J. Cheney who was the first cadet to graduate from the program and go on to become a trooper. Trooper Cheney died of injuries suffered Jan. 17, 1998, after being struck by a vehicle as she directed traffic at a crash scene on Route 1, north of Fredericksburg. The award is presented to the cadet who demonstrates the same motivation, drive and enthusiasm that Trooper Cheney displayed as a cadet.

Additional award recipients include:

Female Physical Fitness Award: Cadet Brienna Romney

Male Physical Fitness Award: Cadet Liam Skiles

Virginia State Trooper Counselor’s Award: Cadet Samantha Warren

The American Legion selects and sponsors the students to represent the organization’s Virginia districts.

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGES MOTORISTS TO CELEBRATE SMART, SAFE & SOBER DURING HOLIDAY CELEBRATING RED, WHITE & BLUE

RICHMOND – With the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday this year, many Virginians are planning ahead for a long holiday weekend. Virginia State Police is encouraging everyone to also think ahead for their celebratory travel plans. Last week, state police joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving and local law enforcement to launch a series of new Public Service Announcements (PSA) to remind motorists that drunk driving kills: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCffVSEnfXOSmv5hEqUYDNfg.

 

“Virginia may have experienced fewer alcohol-related crashes in 2018, but those fewer crashes proved more dangerous and deadlier,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Last year in Virginia, alcohol-related fatalities increased by 12.1% in comparison to 2017. Thirty more people died and 45 more people were injured in traffic crashes due to alcohol on Virginia’s highways in 2018. That translates to 278 deaths and 4,475 injuries because of someone’s reckless decision to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.”

 

As part of its ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the coming holiday weekend, Virginia State Police will increase patrols from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday (July 3, 2019) through midnight Friday (July 5, 2019) as part of the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.

 

During last year’s two-day Independence Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 42 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 4,911 speeders and 1,251 reckless drivers, issued 114 citations for child seat violations, and cited 433 individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up.

 

If planning to drink alcohol at a July 4 function, plan ahead and arrange a designated driver, use a rideshare service or taxi, or utilize public transportation to be certain you get home safely.  Party hosts are encouraged to serve guests non-alcoholic beverage options, and to help prevent any guests from drinking and driving home from their event.

  

With increased holiday patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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VIRGINIA’S 2018 CRIME ANALYSIS REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2018 is now available online at the Virginia State Police website at www.vsp.virginia.gov, under “Forms & Publications.” The detailed document, titledCrime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses and arrests by the reporting agency.

Overall, Virginia experienced a 2% decrease in violent crime (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault) compared to the previous reporting period.

The following 2018 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

  • The number of reported homicides decreased from 455 to 391 or (-14.1%). Victims tended to be younger males; 43.7% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 49.4% of offenders were men between 18 and 34.
  • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 2.4% compared to the previous year.  During 2018, 10,472 motor vehicles were stolen and 9,836 motor vehicles were recovered. Of all motor vehicles stolen, 42.5% were taken from the residence/home and an additional 21.8% from a parking lot or garage. The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $94,796,605.
  • Drug and narcotic arrests increased when compared to the previous reporting period (3%). Marijuana arrests accounted for 59% of all drug arrests, with an increase of 3.6%, when compared to the previous reporting period. Arrests for amphetamines/methamphetamines had the greatest increase from 2,063 to 3,483 (68.8%).
  • Fraud offenses decreased 8.5% compared to 2017.
  • Of the 663 arsons and attempted arsons that were reported, slightly more than 56% reported the location as “residence/home.”  Neither the time of the day nor the day of the week appears to be associated with this offense.
  • Robbery decreased 16.1%. Of the 3,623 robberies and attempted robberies, 42% took place between 6 p.m. and midnight. Days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place.
  • Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 77.2% of homicides and 55% of robberies. Firearms were used to a lesser extent in the offense of aggravated assault (27.4%).
  • There were 161 hate crimes reported in 2018, which represented a 20.3% decrease compared to 2017. More than half (60.2%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion and sexual orientation were next highest (15.5%, 14.3%, respectively). Of all reported bias-motivated crime, 33.5% was associated with destruction/damage/vandalism of property; another 36% was associated with the offense of assault.    

The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

Between 2017 and 2018, adult arrests for Group A and Group B offenses decreased 1.1%. Juvenile arrests also decreased by 4.3%. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 279,288 arrests in 2018, compared to 282,987 arrests in 2017, representing an overall decrease in arrests in Virginia of 1.3%.

Per state mandate, the Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public.

These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and sent to the FBI incorporating them into their annual report, Crime in the United States.

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Virginia and Maryland Authorities Searching for Abduction Suspect

ACCOMACK, Va. - State and local law enforcement in Virginia and Maryland are continuing their search for an Accomack County man wanted for abducting an 18-year-old female early Wednesday (June 12) morning  near the state line. A Virginia Critically Missing Adult Alert was activated for Miss Vermelle Tontrese Moore, 18, who was most recently residing in Accomack County, Va. She was safely located in Maryland shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday (June 12).

The search continues at this time for her abductor, Jerry A. Satchell, 20, of Horntown, Va. Satchell is wanted for one felony count of abduction, one felony count of destruction of property and one felony count of assault.

It was around 3 a.m. Wednesday (June 12) when Moore was a passenger in a vehicle traveling through the Captains Cove subdivision in Greenbackville, Va., and was forcibly removed from the vehicle by Satchell.  Satchell forced Moore into a dark green 1993 Ford F-150 pickup truck and fled the scene. As he was leaving the neighborhood, he intentionally backed into another vehicle and left the scene.

Satchell is a black male with black hair and brown eyes. He is 5'11 and weighs 185 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black-and-white checkered shirt, dark pants and a red hat. The green, Ford pickup truck he was driving was also located Wednesday afternoon in Accomack County.

No one in the vehicle that was struck by the pickup truck was injured in the crash.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Chesapeake Field Office is being assisted by the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police and local law enforcement in Maryland.

Anyone with information about Satchell  is encouraged to call 911 or the Virginia State Police at 757-424-6800 or #77 on a cell (in Virginia) or contact us by email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov

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2019 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND PROVES DEADLY FOR MOTORCYCLISTS ON VIRGINIA’S HIGHWAYS

RICHMOND – Preliminary reports indicate the 2019 Memorial Day weekend proved deadly for a total of 11 individuals, six of whom were riding on motorcycles. Nine fatal traffic crashes claimed 11 lives during the statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 24) and ended at midnight Monday (May 27). Virginia State Police statewide responded to 663 total traffic crashes during the 2019 holiday weekend.

The fatal crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Isle of Wight, and King and Queen. Albemarle County and King and Queen County each had two, separate, fatal crashes during the holiday weekend. The five fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and in Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, and King and Queen counties. Both the operator and rider were killed in the single-vehicle motorcycle crash that occurred in Fairfax County on May 26, 2019.

"Tragically, Virginia has witnessed an alarming loss of life in recent days as a result of traffic crashes,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "There are not only entire families, but entire communities, mourning the deaths of those lost in a fatal traffic crash. More than 300 individuals have already been killed in traffic crashes this year in Virginia. That should give every driver in Virginia 300 reasons as to why it’s so important to drive to save lives on our highways. As we embark on the busy summer travel season, please drive smart, safe and sober.”

In an effort to help keep traffic moving safely and efficiently during the holiday weekend, the Virginia State Police partnered with law enforcement around the country for the Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. During the Operation CARE Memorial Day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers cited 8,270 speeders and 2,548 reckless drivers. Seat belt violations totaled 961. Virginia troopers arrested 75 drunk drivers. State police also assisted 2,405 disabled motorists during the 2019 holiday weekend. Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.

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WITH MORE THAN A MILLION VIRGINIANS EXPECTED TO TRAVEL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MOTORISTS URGED TO MAKE TRAFFIC SAFETY A PRIORITY

RICHMOND – With travel forecasts calling for more than 1-million Virginians to be taking to the highways this Memorial Day weekend, the Virginia State Police is encouraging all motorists to make safe driving practices a priority. To help safeguard Virginia’s highways, the Virginia State Police will be increasing patrols during the long holiday weekend as part of the Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.).

"We hope Virginians make traffic safety a priority every day of the year, but are encouraging motorists to be extra attentive during the holiday weekend," said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "More than a million drivers on Virginia's highways over the Memorial Day weekend means we have more than a million reasons to safely share the road, buckle up, drive distraction free, comply with speed limits and to not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs."

Beginning Friday, May 24, 2019, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation C.A.R.E., a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2019 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 24 and continues through midnight Monday, May 27, 2019.

During the 2018 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 122 drunk drivers, cited 8,673 speeders and 2,704 reckless drivers. Troopers issued 218 citations for child safety seat violations and cited 856 individuals for failing to wear a seat belt.

In addition, Virginia State Police assisted 3,588 disabled motorists across the Commonwealth during the last year’s Memorial Day weekend. Of the 870 traffic crashes investigated during the holiday weekend statistical counting period, 11 resulted in fatalities. That was an increase when compared to the eight fatal crashes in both 2017 and 2016 during the Memorial Day statistical counting periods.

With the increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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