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.

Mujer

VSP Investigating Fatal Accident in Brunswick County

Currently the Virginia State Police is investigating a two vehicle crash that has resulted in a fatality. 

The incident occurred early this morning, at approximately 1:43 a.m., on Interstate 85 at the 24 mile marker, Brunswick County. Preliminary investigations reveal that the driver of a 2020 Freightliner tractor trailer, ran off the roadway, and sideswiped a 2008 Acura. The Freightliner continued off the roadway into the tree line, striking several trees before jack knifing. The driver and passenger of the Acura suffered non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Freightliner died at the scene from injuries sustained by the crash.

At this time, Troopers have the right lane blocked as they continue to investigate.  Once information becomes available for release, an updated email will follow. 

 

21 MOTORCYCLISTS KILLED IN SEVEN WEEKS ON VIRGINIA HIGHWAYS

VSP “Ride 2 Save Lives” Motorcycle Courses Offered Thru October

Summer is in full swing and many Virginia motorcyclists have been enjoying the beautiful weather on the open road. Tragically, as the temperatures have risen, so have the number of riders who have lost their lives in traffic crashes. Since June 1, 2021, 21 riders have died on Virginia roadways in traffic crashes. Of those, nine have been in single-vehicle crashes.

Virginia State Police is urging all motorists to do their part to share the road responsibly. Passenger and commercial vehicle drivers need to remain alert for motorcyclists due to their size and visibility. When pulling onto or across a roadway or when changing lanes, drivers are especially advised to be on the lookout for motorcycles as they can be obstructed by other vehicles, glare, etc.

Per vehicle miles traveled in 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured. Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment. To help enhance motorcyclists’ safety, state police is encouraging Virginians to participate in the free “Ride 2 Save Lives” motorcycle self-assessment courses being offered now through October 2021. This course allows current riders the opportunity to learn and practice rider safety, how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiation and much more. The course is conducted by Virginia State Police Motors Troopers and allows riders to get to know their own motorcycles in a safe environment.

All participants must have a valid operator’s license with a Class ‘M’ endorsement, appropriate riding attire, and helmet and eye protection. Motorcycles must be street legal and helmets must be DOT approved to participate in this program.

Hampton Roads:

  • July 24 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church
  • Aug. 21 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.
  • Sept. 25 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church
  • Oct. 23 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

Metro-Richmond:

  • Aug. 14 – 9 a.m. – Richmond – Steel Horse Harley Davidson
  • Sept. 18 – 9 a.m. – Richmond – Steel Horse Harley Davidson
  • Oct. 2 – 9 a.m. – Richmond – Steel Horse Harley Davidson

Central Virginia/New River Valley:

  • Aug. 21 – 8:30 a.m. – Salem – Lakeside Baptist Church
  • Sept. 18 – 8:30 a.m. – Lynchburg – Central Virginia Community College
  • Sept. 18 – 8:30 a.m. – Salem – Lakeside Baptist Church
  • Oct. 16 – 8:30 a.m. – Salem – Salem Red Sox Stadium
  • Oct. 16 – 8:30 a.m. – Lynchburg – Central Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia:

All available classes are full.

Virginia State Police conducts the “Ride 2 Save Lives” course yearly, beginning in the spring and ending in the fall. A comprehensive listing of Ride 2 Save Lives courses can be found by visiting virginiastatepolice.eventbrite.com. Space is limited and advanced registration for these free courses is required.

INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY TRAFFIC CRASHES CLAIM TEN LIVES IN VIRGINIA

RICHMOND – Virginia is experiencing a disturbing trend on its roadways – increased traffic crash fatalities – with the state on pace to have another unfortunate increase in 2021. Preliminary reports indicate 10 individuals died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways during the July 4 holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2, 2021 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2021. Four of the crashes involved motorcycles and a fifth was an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Since Jan. 1, 2021 through July 7, 2021, preliminary reports indicate 399 lives have been lost to traffic crashes in Virginia, compared to 395 during the same time period in 2020.

The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Botetourt, Campbell, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Mecklenburg, Patrick and Stafford and the City of Newport News. The fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the counties of Botetourt, Essex, Fairfax and Stafford. The Patrick County crash involved the ATV.

“Virginia State Police substantially increased our presence on Virginia roadways this past weekend, and yet, we still have people flaunting the safety of others on the road by driving at excessive speeds and under the influence,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “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 your summer getaway. You and Virginia’s safety depend on it.”

During the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) four-day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers arrested 61 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 4,025 speeders and 1,434 reckless drivers, and issued 510 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 669 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,550 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.

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.

Vigilance of Virginia State Troopers  Kept  Roads Safe This Independence Weekend

Division V Troopers (area that encompassed the 7 major cities and 14 surrounding counties of Hampton Roads) participated in an on-going effort to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities in Hampton Roads during the 2021 Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

As part of the national and state-sponsored program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impared driving, speed, and failing to wear a seatbelt, Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) went into full effect Friday (July 2, 2021) through midnight Monday (July 5, 2021). During this time period troopers summoned/arrested a total of 2673 drivers, 1089 citations for reckless driving, 12 arrests for driving under the influence, 75 citations for seatbelt violations, investigated a total of 113 traffic crashes with 1 fatality, and assisted 116 motorists. A motorist was cited for speeding 134 MPH/60 MPH in Chesapeake, in Sussex County another was cited for 100MPH/55MPH, and in Virginia Beach another motorist was cited for 120MPH/55MPH (see attached photos).

Throughout the holiday weekend, troopers were not only busy keeping roads safe, but also arresting those wanted in outlying cities as well;

On July 2nd, a trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Honda sedan for traveling the wrong direction on Route 301, Greenville County. The vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit entailed with speeds not exceeding 35MPH. With the assistance of other troopers, all five occupants were detained. The driver, 31 year old Kea Michelle Wilson, was charged with driving under the influence and eluding/misdemeanor. Her male passenger, 34 year old Rashard Witcher, was arrested for outstanding warrants on file out of Henrico & Chesterfield, and was charged with false information to law enforcement and failure to identify. The other male and female passenger along with a 6 year old child, were not injured in the incident, and left the scene without incident. Wilson and Witcher were both taken to Southside Regional Jail. 

On July 4th, at approximately 8:04 p.m., a trooper patrolling Sussex County attempted to make a traffic stop on a Honda Odyssey that had an expired inspection sticker on Route 301 southbound, south of Route 605. The driver, 43 year old John Alonzo Roach, refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. Roach stopped the vehicle at Allen Road and Wyatt Mill Road in Greensville County and fled on foot into the property woodline of Greensville Correctional Center. With the assistance of Southampton Sheriff's Office K-9 units, Roach was located and placed under arrest. Roach was wanted out of Petersburg for malicious bodily injury & firearm possession/transport by a convicted felon. Roach was also charged with no operators license, felony eluding, trespass on state property, and expired inspection.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBER

RICHMOND – Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel Gary T. Settle, has promoted a Henrico County native to the position of Deputy Director of the Department's Bureau of Field Operations (BFO). The newly-appointed Major Ronald C. Maxey Jr. replaces retiring Major Steven L. Chumley on the executive staff. Chumley has served as the BFO Deputy Director since his appointment on June 25, 2018 and has served with Virginia State Police for 35 years.

Prior to his June 10, 2021 appointment, Maxey was commander of the Safety Division where he oversaw the Motor Vehicle Inspection Program, Motor Carrier Safety Unit and Intradepartmental Safety Program. He served with the Governor’s Initiative Against Narcotics Trafficking (GIANT) and was a member of the Virginia State Police Special Olympics Committee. He is a member of American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Law-enforcement Advisory Committee and will continue to serve on several Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) committees. He will also continue to serve as the VSP legislative liaison to the General Assembly House and Senate transportation committees.  

Maxey started his career with Virginia State Police in 1993 after graduating from the Academy with the 90th Basic Session. His first assignment as Trooper was with the Richmond Division’s Area 8 Office in Henrico County and he later moved to the Area 4 Office in Mineral. While in the Mineral Office, he was promoted to Sergeant where he had the privilege to supervise and mentor other Troopers and serve as squad leader for the Tactical Field Force. In 2008, he was promoted to First Sergeant in the Fairfax Division, leading the Springfield Area 48 Office. He also served as the Fairfax Division Tactical Field Force Platoon Sergeant. Maxey then transitioned to the Safety Division as Motor Carrier Safety First Sergeant, where he oversaw seven field offices and served on various regulatory committees. In 2010, Maxey was promoted to Lieutenant with the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, where he was responsible for the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE) and the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. He then transitioned back to the Safety Division as Lieutenant for Motor Carrier Safety. He coordinated all North American Standard Road Inspection training courses for state and local law enforcement. In 2016, he continued his service with the Safety Division as Captain and Safety Officer.

Maxey has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Old Dominion University, and is a graduate of the National Criminal Justice Command College at the University of Virginia (UVA). He is also a second-generation Trooper, as his father graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy’s 45th Basic Session.

With Maxey’s promotion, Lieutenant Sean L. Stewart was promoted into the position of Captain and Safety Division Commander. Stewart began his career with state police in 1994 after graduation from the Academy with the 91st Basic Session. Stewart has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree and a Master’s Degree from George Mason University. He is also a graduate of the National Criminal Command College at UVA. Prior to his promotion, Stewart led the Safety Division’s Inspection Section as the Lieutenant and Assistant Safety Officer.

MAKE IT A SAFE & SOBER JULY 4 HOLIDAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – With backyard barbecues and public Independence Day celebrations back in full swing, the Virginia State Police is encouraging everyone to plan ahead for the holiday weekend.

“This year Independence Day means a lot of different things for Virginians, but it’s safe to say big celebrations will be part of your weekend plans,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Whether watching a neighborhood fireworks display, heading to a big celebration or traveling for summer vacation, remember to buckle up, eliminate distractions and never drive buzzed, drunk or under the influence.”

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. Friday (July 2, 2021) through midnight Monday (July 5, 2021) 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 four-day Independence Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, there were nine traffic deaths on Virginia highways. Virginia troopers arrested 44 drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, cited 1,540 speeders and 732 reckless drivers, and issued 126 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. Troopers also assisted 1,153 disabled/stranded motorists.

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 non-alcoholic beverage options, and to help prevent any guests from drinking and driving home from their event.

“It is also important to note that July 4th celebrations may be a bit different this year than those of the past due to the legalization of simple possession of cannabis for adults 21 years and over,” said Colonel Settle. “Whether you are trying marijuana for the first time or are a previous cannabis consumer, remember driving under the influence is still illegal in Virginia. If we all do our small part, we increase everyone’s chances of having a safer holiday weekend.”

As of July 1, 2021, adults 21 years and older will be allowed to possess not more than one ounce of cannabis for personal use. The use of marijuana while driving a motor vehicle or while being a passenger in a motor vehicle will continue to be illegal. For more information on the new legislation, visit: cannabis.virginia.gov.

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.

Virginia State Police Warn of Phone Scams Targeting Sex Offenders

The Virginia State Police has recently been alerted to an alarming increase in phone scams targeting offenders on the Sex Offender registry. The consistent theme among these scams has been phone fraudsters threatening people into paying large amounts of money in the form of gift cards.

The phone scammers are calling offenders claiming to be a "Virginia State Police Sergeant Johnson/Badge#321" from the Isle of Wight/Smithfield Field Office, claiming there is a warrant for their arrest for failure to provide a DNA sample. The phone fraudster claims that the warrant can be removed for a fee of $6500.00. The fraudster provides instructions on how the payment should be submitted, usually in the form of a gift card from a local business and to provide the DNA sample to 30010 Camp Parkway, Courtland, to avoid further prosecution. 

The scammers will often manipulate caller ID, to make the number appear to come from a nearby police office or local sheriff's office. The prepaid phones that are being used are prepaid cellular phones or spoofed numbers, making their apprehension difficult. 

The Virginia State Police, which oversees the sex offender registry, will NEVER ask for payments to be released from a warrant. Do not give the caller any information and never provide any form of payment. 

If you receive such a call, hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency or the Virginia State Police at questions@vsp.virginia.gov or at (804)674-2467.

(Editor's Note: The last two lines above are true of any scam involving the Virginia State Police, even if you are not on the sex offender registry. The Virginia State Police (nor any other law enforcement agency) will never ask for payment, especially in the form of gift cards, to release you from a warrant. If you ever receive any such call, please contact your local l aw enforcement agency, or the VSP using the contact information provided above.)

 

VIRGINIA’S ANNUAL CRIME ANALYSIS REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ON VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WEBSITE

RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2020, is now available online.  The Crime in Virginia report continues to provide 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.

Violent crime includes the offenses of murder, forcible sex offenses (rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object per the FBI’s updated rape definition), robbery and aggravated assault. Overall, Virginia experienced a 1.9 percent decrease in violent crime offenses compared to 2019. There were 15,713 violent crime offenses reported in 2020 compared to 16,018 violent crime offenses in 2019.

The following 2020 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

  • The number of reported homicides increased from 428 to 528 (23.4%).  Victims and offenders tended to be younger males; 45.1% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 52.7% of offenders were men between 18 and 34.  Nearly half (49.2%) of all homicides occurred at a residence/home.
  • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 6% compared to 2019 during which 10,575 motor vehicles were stolen in 10,044 offenses. During 2020, there were 11,209 motor vehicles reported stolen in 10,773 offenses. In 2020, 6,366 motor vehicles were recovered (vehicles may have been stolen prior to 2020).  Of all motor vehicles stolen, 40.2% were taken from the residence/home.  The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $113,993,341.
  • Drug arrests decreased by more than a third (36.7%) with the largest percentage decrease in the under 18 age group (48.6%).  The number of reports of drugs seized decreased for nearly all drug types, especially marijuana (31.7%), due in part to decriminalization of possessing less than 1 ounce of the drug effective July 1, 2020.
  • Burglary decreased 18.4%. Of the 11,413 burglaries and attempted burglaries, more than half (52.2%) took place at night between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., a reverse pattern from 2019 during which 54.8% of burglaries occurred during the day.  Furthermore, 68% occurred at a residence/home, a decrease of 7.3% over the previous year.
  • Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 83% of homicides and 50.4% of robberies. Firearms were used in more than one-third (35.2%) of aggravated assault cases.
  • There were 190 hate crime offenses, involving 193 victims, reported in 2020 representing a 2.7% increase compared to 2019. Two offenses indicated more than one type of bias motivation. Nearly three-fourths (72.8%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation and religion were next highest (14.4%, 11.8%, respectively). Of all reported bias motivated crime, 77.4% were assault offenses (aggravated assault, simple assault) or destruction/damage/vandalism of property.    

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 sex offenses, 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.

For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 206,609 arrests in 2020 compared to 274,636 arrests in 2019, representing an overall decrease in arrests in Virginia of 24.8%.

Per state mandate, the Virginia Department of 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. 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 are sent to the FBI for incorporation into their annual report, Crime in the United States.

TRAFFIC CRASHES CLAIM 14 LIVES DURING 2021 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Lack of Seat Belt Usage Continues to Contribute to Lives Lost

RICHMOND – The 2021 Memorial Day weekend not only saw an increase in overall traffic volumes on Virginia’s highways, but also an increase in traffic deaths. Preliminary reports indicate 14 people lost their lives during the four-day, holiday statistical counting period. During the same statistical counting period in 2020, traffic crashes on Virginia highways resulted in eight deaths.

Of the 14 individuals killed this year on Virginia highways, two were riding on motorcycles and eight were not wearing a seat belt. The statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 28) and ended at midnight Monday (May 31).

The fatal crashes occurred in the cities of Richmond and Virginia Beach, and the counties of Botetourt, Bedford, Northampton, Cumberland, Chesterfield, Prince George, Tazewell, Amherst, Fairfax and Albemarle. The two fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and Tazewell County.

"I understand that most Virginians have been driving less in the past year. They may be feeling a bit green in the driver seat and their patience may be a bit short,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “But the rules of the road haven’t changed and safety on the roadways should be of paramount concern to everyone. This holiday weekend, as well as the entire year so far, have seen far too many people lose their lives on Virginia’s highways. Speeding, reckless driving and distractions are leading to tragedy. Every one of these actions is a choice, a choice that has left too many families in mourning. In addition, eight people made the choice not to buckle up, a simple action that could have saved their lives and kept a family whole. Virginia State Police urge all Virginia drivers to step up and make safe decisions when they get into their vehicles. You have the opportunity to break this devastating streak.”

This year, the Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. Initiative fell within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. During the entire statistical counting period for “Click It or Ticket” and the Memorial Day weekend which ran from 12:01 a.m. May 24 through midnight May 31, Virginia Troopers cited 5,553 speeders and 1,818 reckless drivers and arrested 79 impaired drivers. In addition, 740 individuals were cited for seat belt violations and 281 felony arrests were made. Virginia State Police also assisted 2,302 disabled motorists.

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.

WITH MORE VIRGINIANS RETURNING TO THE ROAD FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MOTORISTS URGED TO KEEP SAFETY TOP OF MIND

22 Virginia Traffic Deaths – 5 Motorcyclists – Since Last Friday

RICHMOND – With travel forecasts calling for a significant increase for the Memorial Day weekend from 2020, the Virginia State Police (VSP) is encouraging motorists to bring their “Safety First” mindset to the roadways. This includes obeying all posted speed limits, driving for conditions, buckling up and ditching distractions. Traffic safety is imperative when considering that 22 lives have been lost to 16 reported crashes on Virginia’s highways between Friday, May 21, 2021, and midnight Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Of the 22 traffic fatalities, five were motorcyclists, two were bicyclists and one was a pedestrian. Two of the fatal crashes claimed a total of eight lives.

“As a state of normalcy returns to Virginia’s roadways and families head out for summer adventures, motorists need to remember that as traffic increases so should their vigilance and patience,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “During this holiday weekend, Virginians will see traffic numbers that we haven’t experienced in close to a year. All drivers need to remember to not only comply with posted speed limits, but to also be patient and alert for added congestion on our roads.”

Beginning Friday, May 28, 2021, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation Crash Awareness 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. The 2021 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 28 and continues through midnight Monday, May 31, 2021. All available state police troopers and supervisors will be on patrol through the holiday weekend to help keep traffic moving safely and responsibly.

During the 2020 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 70 drunk drivers and cited 2,469 speeders. Troopers issued 224 citations for failing to wear a seat belt and eight individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes. In addition, VSP personnel assisted 1,460 disabled motorists across the Commonwealth during last year’s Memorial Day weekend.

This year, the Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative falls within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. This helps to further emphasize the lifesaving value of seat belts for every person in a vehicle.

“Just within the past six days, 22 people have lost their lives on a Virginia roadway. Preliminary data shows at least eight of those were not wearing a seat belt, to include a 10-year-old boy. Eight lives that may have been saved with the simple click of a seat belt. It’s an easy decision to make – buckle up. And buckle up everyone riding in your vehicle,” said Settle.

With the increased patrols, VSP 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.

Virginia State Police Will Host A Community Day in Emporia This Friday

Emporia, VA- This Friday, May 21st, from 4-7pm, the Virginia State Police will have an open house/community day at its local area office. All are welcome to come by for refreshments, meet & greet and to observe some of the state police's specialty units. Opportunity to ask questions and see members of our K-9 units, Search & Rescue Team, and Criminal Investigators.  The event will be held at 520 South Main Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847. (See attached flyer)
 
For more information or questions about the event, contact Trooper S. Boone at (757) 803-5459 / samuel.boone@vsp.virginia.gov

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ADDS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM TO VIRGINIA ALERT RESOURCES

@VSPalerts Added to Communications Platforms

RICHMOND – Since the Virginia General Assembly established Virginia’s first missing person alert program in 2003 with the Virginia A.M.B.E.R. (for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert, the Virginia State Police has taken advantage of the ever-evolving landscape of communications technology to reach broader audiences as quickly and effectively as possible. This year the Virginia State Police added @VSPalerts on Twitter to its existing notification platforms.

“Just as the types of alerts have expanded over the years, so too have our means of notifying the public,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Every second counts when it comes to safely locating an abducted child or endangered adult or a missing child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Thus, it is imperative that an alert’s key details be disseminated across as many diverse communications channels as quickly as possible.”

Over the years, the Virginia General Assembly has established five missing persons alerts: Virginia AMBER Alert (2003); Virginia Senior Alert (2007); Virginia Blue Alert (2011); Virginia Critically Missing Adult “Ashanti” Alert (2018); and the Virginia Missing Child with Autism Alert (2020). State code designates the Virginia State Police as the operator of each alert for the purpose of identifying that each alert’s criteria is met and an activation is justified.

An AMBER Alert triggers activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), @VSPalerts and the Virginia State Police Twitter and Facebook pages, changeable message boards and a series of other communications/notification systems. For those instances where not all AMBER Alert criteria can be satisfied, the state police will initiate an Endangered Child Alert. This alert still enables the Department to bring the necessary attention to the missing and endangered child’s situation across traditional and social media platforms.

Since each program’s inception, Virginia has activated a total 62 AMBER Alerts, 181 Senior Alerts, 33 Endangered Child Alerts, 10 Endangered Adult/Ashanti Alerts and one Blue Alert.

Additional background information on each alert program is available at https://www.vaamberalert.com/VSPalerts-background.htm.

May is Motorcycle Safety Month

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and Virginia State Police is once again offering its “Ride 2 Save Lives” motorcycle self-assessment courses across the Commonwealth in the coming weeks.

The free motorcycle self-assessment courses allow current riders the opportunity to learn and practice rider safety, how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiation and much more. The courses are conducted by Virginia State Police Motors Troopers in a safe environment.

May 22 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown- Waters Edge Church

June 26 – 8:30 a.m. - Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

July 24 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church

August 21 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

September 25 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church

October 23 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

 A comprehensive listing of Ride 2 Save Lives courses can be found by visiting virginiastatepolice.eventbrite.com. Space is limited and advanced registration for these free courses is required.

 

Correction: VSP Seeking Tips to Locate Convicted Sex Offender of Lunenburg County

Virginia State Police is asking for the public’s help in locating a convicted sex offender who has failed to re-register, as required by state law. 

Michael Paul Trim, 44, is registered at a home in Victoria, Va., but absconded at some point and has not registered a new address. He last registered with state police in January 2021. He is believed to now be in the Hampton Roads area.

Trim is 5’9” in height and weighs approximately 155 pounds. He has blue eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information about Trims's whereabouts is encouraged to contact state police by using the “Tips” link located under the offender’s picture on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry search page located here.

PHOTO ATTACHED: The attached photo is the property of the Virginia State Police, which grants permission for its publication/broadcast.

VIRGINIA AMONG 15 EAST COAST STATES PARTICIPATING IN ANNUAL “I-95 DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES”

RICHMOND – Virginia will be among 15 states, from Maine to Florida, participating in a two-day “Drive to Save Lives” traffic safety initiative along Interstate 95. On Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021, Virginia State Police will be dedicating additional patrol resources to Interstate 95 traffic safety enforcement. Motorists can expect to see an increased presence of troopers along Virginia’s entire 178 miles of I-95, from the border of North Carolina to Maryland. This year the initiative coincides with Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Virginia’s new hands-free law, this enhanced enforcement initiative along the East Coast couldn’t come at a better time,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. “This time of year people are on the road for Spring Break, vacations and outdoor adventuring. Keeping your eyes on the road, buckling up, complying with posted speed limits and never driving intoxicated, will help ensure your spring travels are safe, especially along the I-95 corridor.”

 In 2020, Virginia recorded 37 traffic crash fatalities on I-95, six of which involved distracted driving. Additionally, five of those crashes involved drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In all, 625 people lost their lives in crashes along the entire 1,920 miles of I-95 last year.

In addition to complying with traffic laws, drivers are reminded that as of January 1, 2021, it is illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving a moving motor vehicle on Virginia highways. For more information on the new law, visit www.phonedown.org.

With increased patrols, State Police also remind 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.

Virginia State Police Safely Recover Abducted 6 Year Old After Short Pursuit

Greenville County, VA: Late yesterday evening (March 29) at approximately 10:30 p.m., the Virginia State Police Communications Center broadcasted a transmission to all its members concerning a 2017 Honda Civic Coupe that was possibly involved in an earlier abduction in Greensville County.  

During the broadcast it was learned that the adjoining police department, Prince George County, had attempted to pull the vehicle over and a pursuit entailed. The driver, 36 year old Crystal M. Maryland, had an active warrant, and the 6 year old female was believed to be inside the vehicle. The pursuit was terminated shortly after by that agency. 

Troopers in the area began to search the surrounding counties for the vehicle that had fled from prior law enforcement officers. At approximately 10:43 p.m., a trooper located the vehicle on Route 35 at the Sussex County/Southampton County line and a traffic stop was initiated. Maryland refused to stop and fled in the eastbound direction of Route 35 at a high rate of speed. In an effort to stop the Honda, the trooper's vehicle was struck by Maryland. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to run through the median, across the westbound lanes and into an embankment. Crystal Michelle Maryland was then taken into custody without incident. 

The 6 year old victim was inside the vehicle and escaped unharmed. The female victim was evaluated by medical personnel at the scene and the child's mother and family members were identified. She was released into their custody. 

The trooper escaped unharmed, while Maryland was transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital for a medical evaluation. Once cleared of her injuries, she was transported to Southampton Regional Jail for processing where she was served with the pending felony warrant for abduction.  Maryland was also charged by state police with the following; felony eluding, reckless driving, felony child endangerment, and failure to secure a child in an approved child restraint device.  Crystal Michelle Maryland received no bond.

Virginia State Police Conduct A Fatal Accident Investigation For Sheriff's Department

GREENSVILLE COUNTY, VA: In the early morning hours of March 28, the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate a vehicle fatality that resulted from a police pursuit by Greensville County Sheriff's Department. 
 
At approximately 3:19 a.m., the Greensville Sheriff's Department received a disturbance call at the Quality Motel on Route 301. The complainant stated there was a white Ford Crown Victoria playing loud music in the motel parking lot. A deputy was dispatched to the scene and upon arrival observed a white Ford Crown Victoria exit the parking lot at a high rate of speed. A traffic stop was attempted, but the driver refused to stop for the deputy, traveling down Liberty Road at 60 mph. Although it was not raining, the roadway was wet with standing water. The driver of the Ford, 25 year old Daiquan T. Wright, drove over standing water, lost control of the vehicle, and ran off the roadway. Once off the roadway the vehicle struck a mailbox, fire hydrant, a fence and ultimately a tree, where the vehicle came to rest in an upright position. Wright was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the incident and died at the scene from injuries sustained. 
 
The Greensville County Sheriff's Department contacted the Virginia State Police to investigate the incident. The Virginia State Police Reconstruction Team was called to the scene to assist in the investigation. At this time it is unknown if alcohol played a contributing factor.
 
Notification to family members has been made for 25 year old Daiquan Tarez Wright of the hundred block of Liberty Road, Emporia, Virginia.
 
The Virginia State Police will be handling the fatal investigation only. Any questions concerning the pursuit and the policies and procedures of Greenville Sheriff's Department must be addressed by that agency.

Interstate 95 Lanes Shut Down Due to Accident Investigations

SUSSEX, VA: On today's date (March 23), the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate two major accidents on Interstate 95, which caused the roadway/lane to be closed for several hours. 

At approximately 3:11 a.m., the driver of a 2013 Volvo tractor trailer, Darrell Phillips, was traveling southbound Interstate 95,when he ran off the roadway, struck the guardrail, entered the median and overturned in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95, at the 31 mile marker. The driver was entrapped in the vehicle but escaped uninjured. Phillips, 53 YOA, of Delaware, was charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain proper control of vehicle. 

    

Shortly after the accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95, a single vehicle accident occured in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 28 mile marker. The driver of a 2005 Nissan Titan, Christopher Smidt, was pulling an enclosed trailer carrying two Harley Davidson motorcycles, when he ran off the roadway and into the Nottoway River. Smidt and his passenger were able to exit the vehicle prior to it being submerged completely into the river. Both occupants were uninjured from the crash.  The Virginia State Police Search and Recovery Team were called to assist in recovering the vehicles from the water.

Smidt is from New Jersey and the investigation is on-going.

Photos provided are  property of the Virginia State Police which grants permission for its usage and publication.

DON’T RELY ON THE “LUCK OF THE IRISH.” DESIGNATE A SOBER DRIVER THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY

RICHMOND – A popular holiday and unofficial start of spring, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America date back to this country’s founding and celebrate the roots of millions with Irish ancestry. Unfortunately, these celebrations have resulted in St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, becoming one of the year’s most dangerous times to be on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day weekend alone (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), more than three out of five (63%) traffic crash-related fatalities involved a drunk driver. In fact, from 2015 to 2019, a total of 280 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day period nationwide.

“As COVID-19 cases start to drop and more people get vaccinated, Virginians are venturing towards a more normal life and are eager to find a reason to celebrate,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Don’t let your first celebration be your last. And, just like practicing COVID-19 safety is about the entire community, so is not drinking and driving. Getting behind the wheel when intoxicated is a choice - a choice with deadly consequences for you, your passengers and every other motorist sharing the road with you.”

Safety isn’t about luck. If you’re going to party, party with a plan:

  • Ensure you have a designated sober driver, a plan to use public transportation or a ride share service BEFORE any drinking begins.
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Be honest with yourself and know that even if you only plan on having one drink, you should plan on having a designated driver.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over safely and dial #77 on a cell phone or call 911.
  • If you know someone who has been drinking and is about to drive, take the keys and make arrangements to get them home safely.

To further prevent traffic deaths and injuries during St. Patrick’s Day, as well as during the traditional Spring Break season, the Virginia State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. The state-sponsored, national program, incorporates a nine-day statistical counting period that begins at 12:01 a.m., March 13, 2021, and concludes at midnight on March 21, 2021.

All Virginians are reminded to keep safety first anytime you are behind the wheel. Always buckle up, avoid distractions, put your phone down, share the road and don’t drink and drive.

Single vehicle Accident Claims Life in Greensville County

GREENSVILLE COUNTY, VA.:  Earlier this morning (March 12) at approximately 6:20 a.m., the Virginia State Police was called to investigate a single vehicle accident that occurred on Interstate 95/southbound at the 6.5 mile marker (north of Rockbridge Road). 

Upon arrival, the driver, Daniel L. Ware, was entrapped inside the vehicle and critically injured. Med-Flight was initiated to transport him to a VCU medical facility. During the flight, Ware's condition deteriorated and was diverted to Southside regional Medical center in Petersburg where he succumbed to his injuries.

Preliminary investigations reveal that Ware, operating a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree.  Ware was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Speed nor alcohol were contributing factors. 

Notification for Daniel L. Ware, 32 YOA, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, has been made.

Winter Storm Warnings = Winter Weather Driving Advisories & Tips

With winter storm watches and warnings starting today Thursday (Feb. 11) and lasting through late Friday (Feb. 12) for much of Virginia, the Virginia State Police is encouraging Virginians to plan ahead so you can avoid having to travel during inclement conditions. The National Weather Service is calling for accumulations of snow, as well as combinations of rain and sleet in the coming hours. VDOT is working to pre-treat the highways, but slippery and dangerous conditions are still anticipated.

The Virginia State Police is already preparing for the winter weather and will have all available troopers on patrol in order to respond as quickly as possible to traffic crashes, emergencies and disabled motorists.

If you must travel during the storm:

  • Know Before You Go! Before heading out, check Virginia road conditions at www.511virginia.org or download the VDOT 511 app.
  • Clear ALL snow and ice from the roof, trunk, hood and windows of your vehicle - car, SUV, minivan, pickup truck, commercial vehicle - before you travel.
  • Use your headlights - in rain AND snow.
  • Drive for conditions - slow your speed and increase your traveling distance between the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Buckle Up.
  • Avoid distractions - put down the phone.
  • Do not call 911 or #77 for road conditions.

Virginia State Police Trooper Honored by MADD Chapters

(Left) First Sergeant Ben E. Jeffrey Jones presents (right) Trooper T.S. Session her awards at the Area 35 Office in Emporia.

Virginia State Police Area 35 Commander, First Sergeant Ben E. Jeffrey Jones, is proud to recognize Trooper T.S. Session for her hard work and dedication to safeguard the roads within Area 35 from the deadly dangers of impaired drivers. Both the Virginia Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Southside Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) honored her for her exceptional efforts in relation to DUI and DUID arrests in 2020.

Trooper Session is a 2018 graduate of the Virginia State Police Academy and transferred to Area 35 in February 2019. Area 35 encompasses the city of Emporia and the counties of Brunswick and Greensville.

The attached photo is the property of the Virginia State Police, which grants permission for its publication/broadcast.

DON’T RACE THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Celebrate Responsibly to Ring in the New Year  

RICHMOND – Everyone wants to say goodbye to 2020, but racing to get there may increase your chances of not reaching the finish line. Throughout 2020, Virginia has seen a spike in fatal speed-related crashes according to data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office. Year-to-date there have been more speed-related traffic deaths than in all of 2019. This year has been one of challenges and this holiday season will be like none in recent memory, but speeding, driving under the influence and not buckling up is no way to finish out 2020.

“Not only have speed-related traffic deaths increased this year, so have alcohol-related traffic deaths. Virginia is on pace to have more total fatal traffic crashes in 2020 than in 2019,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police. “And all of this while overall traffic crashes in Virginia this year are down significantly. This means each crash has been deadlier – deadlier because of speed, alcohol, distractions and individuals not wearing seatbelts.”

Virginia State Police is urging every motorist on the road this holiday season to be responsible, obey the traffic laws, ditch distractions and wear a seatbelt. Whether heading to the grocery store, the post office or delivering gifts to family and friends, choose to do it safely and do it responsibly.

Every year during the holidays, there is an increase in drunk-driving related fatalities and crashes across the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in December 2018, there were 839 lives lost in drunk-driving crashes nationwide. Of the 839 deaths, 285 occurred during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period.

“Remember, drinking and driving is never an option,” says Settle.

Drivers and passengers have many alternatives to arrive home safely. If you plan to attend a party or celebrate with a small group of friends during the holidays, please remember:

  • Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a friend, call family, call a cab or use public transportation.
  • If you know someone has been drinking. Do not let them drive. Arrange another safe way home.
  • If you believe you see an impaired driver on the road, call police. Remain alert and don’t hesitate to dial #77 to notify your nearest Virginia State Police Emergency Communications Center. Your actions could save someone’s life.

In addition to complying with traffic laws, drivers are reminded that effective January 1, 2021, it will be illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving a moving motor vehicle on Virginia highways.

Get into the habit of putting down your cell phone now, before the state-wide law goes into effect. For more information on the new law, visit phonedown.org.

Virginia State Police Investigating Mptorcycle Accident that Claimed the Life of Emporia Resident

Virginia State Police are investigating a single vehicle motorcycle accident that results in the death of the driver. 
 
On December 12, 2020 at approximately 2:41 p.m., the state police responded to a single vehicle with injuries on Route 611 (Dry Bread Road) west of Route 673 (Reavis Gin Road).
 
The driver of a  2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle, Jerry Wayne Hubbard, of the 400 block of Cleveland Avenue, Emporia, Virginia, lost control of the motorcycle, ran off the road and into a ditch, ejecting Hubbard. Hubbard was taken to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center where he later died from the injuries sustained from the accident. 
 
Speed nor alcohol were contributing factors in the accident.

Virginia State Police Investigate Fatal Accident In Greensville County

On December 11, 2020 at approximately 1:36 p.m., the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate a single vehicle accident that resulted in a fatality. 

The accident occurred at the 7500 block of Dry Bread Road, 25 miles west of Doyles Lake Road. 

The driver of a 1989 Mercury Cougar, 30 year old Barbara Harris Rose, was traveling eastbound on Dry Bread Road when she lost control of the vehicle, ran off the roadway, and over corrected. Upon overcorrecting the vehicle, the vehicle began to flip several times before coming to rest in a field off the roadway. 

Harris was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, dying at the scene from injuries sustained. Harris had two children in the vehicle, a 6 year old that was med-flighted to MCV Richmond with life threatening injuries, and a 4 year old that was transported to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center with serious injuries but non-life threatening. 

Speed was a contributing factor. At this time it is unknown if alcohol was a  contributing factor.

Notification was made to family members.

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY WEEKEND CRASHES CLAIM 10 LIVES

Excessive speed continues to claim lives in the Commonwealth

RICHMOND – Over the Thanksgiving statistical counting period, preliminary data shows that speed played a factor in at least four fatal traffic crashes. Those four crashes led to the deaths of six people, including a teenager and 6-year-old boy. In addition, the teenager and young boy were not wearing appropriate safety restraints.

“Speed and lack of personal safety restraints continue to cost Virginians their lives,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As we continue through the holiday season, I am pleading with Virginians of all ages to respect and comply with all traffic safety laws. Virginia State Police and your loved ones want you to arrive at your destination safely.”

In total, during the five-day period which began at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 25, 2020 and concluded at midnight Nov. 29, 2020, 10 people lost their lives in eight traffic crashes in Virginia. The fatal crashes occurred in the cities of Lynchburg, Newport News and Richmond and the counties of Frederick, Pittsylvania, Rockingham and Shenandoah. Of those crashes, one was alcohol related, four were speed related and one involved a pedestrian.

This is an increase from 2019 when there were eight traffic fatalities during the five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period. There were 12 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2018. *

In an effort to prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. - 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 2020 Thanksgiving Holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 4,930 speeders and 1,706 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers charged 67 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and cited 498 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.

State police responded to 733 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth, with 117 of those resulting in injuries. State police also assisted 1,609 disabled/stranded motorists during the Thanksgiving 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.

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

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGING MOTORISTS TO SLOW DOWN AND PUT SAFETY FIRST THIS THANKSGIVING

RICHMOND – For many Virginians, Thanksgiving is going to look different than in previous years, with social distancing and outdoor meals. But, the rules of the road have not changed - slow down, wear a seatbelt and don’t drive distracted. Whether traveling to the grocery store or to grandma’s house, the same rings true, put your safety and the safety of others first.

“With lighter traffic on the roads, there may be a temptation to speed and a false sense of security that leads to drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “This year overall, state police have seen fewer crashes on Virginia highways but those crashes have been more deadly. Making sure you are driving the posted speed limit, driving for conditions and wearing your seatbelt are the best ways to stay safe on the road. Whatever your holiday celebrations look like this year, Virginia State Police want to make sure you arrive at your destination safely.”

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. - 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 that begins at 12:01 a.m., Nov. 25, 2020 and concludes at midnight on Nov. 29, 2020.

The 2019 Thanksgiving holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 490 individuals who failed to buckle up on Virginia’s highways. State police also cited 5,221 speeders and 1,798 reckless drivers. A total of 83 drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There were eight traffic fatalities during the 2019 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and 12 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2018.

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.

55 PRIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT GRADUATE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ACADEMY

The 55 members of the Virginia State Police 133rd Basic Session were presented their diplomas Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 at 10 a.m. in a special, physically-distanced, outdoor graduation ceremony at the state police Academy. In accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s latest directives related to COVID-19, no family, friends or media will be in attendance. The class will be divided into three separately-spaced groups in the parking lot and will be streamed live via the Virginia State Police Facebook page.

“To the very day of their graduation, the dedicated men and women of this Basic Session academy class have demonstrated their ability to adapt, overcome and succeed,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Fortunately, we were able to livestream the occasion for families and friends to witness this significant milestone for their loved ones. Not only was this a unique setting for the ceremony, but this is also only the second time in the Department’s 88 year history an Accelerated Lateral Entry Program has been held.”

The Accelerated Lateral Entry Program only accepts pre-certified Virginia law enforcement officers with at least three years of active-duty experience at the local and/or state level. Each candidate for trooper must have been in good standing with their former law enforcement employer(s) and underwent an extensive background investigative and testing process. Collectively, the 133rd Basic Session accounts for 426 years of prior law enforcement experience.

The 133rd Basic Session trooper trainees received more than 300 hours of classroom and field instruction in nearly 50 different subjects, including defensive tactics, cultural diversity, bias-free and community relations, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival and crisis management. The members of the 133rd Basic Session began their eight weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy on Sept. 28, 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.

State police is currently hiring for 2021 Basic Session Academy classes. Those interested in joining the ranks of the Virginia State Police are encouraged to visit www.vatrooper.com for more information.

133rd  BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

 

133rd Basic Graduate                                                                         Assignment               

Austin Kenrick Anders                                                                         Franklin County

Dylan Wade Billiter                                                                             Tazewell County

Jonathan William Bloom                                                                    Chesterfield County

Christopher Stuart Boblett                                                                  Franklin County

Bryce Alan Campbell                                                                          Henrico County/Richmond

Jesse Bethlynnie Campbell                                                                 Bath County

Jason Gregory Carico                                                                          Bland County

Jermell Lamonte Chatman                                                                  Arlington County

Dylan Storm Coleman                                                                         New Kent County

Rickie Lewis Compton, Jr.                                                                   Halifax County

Scott Thomas Craig                                                                            Rockingham County

Zachary Ryan Davis                                                                             Rockbridge County

Peter Lawrence Dayton                                                                      Lunenburg County

Matthew James DeMoss                                                                    Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Michael Anthony Dunford                                                                  Giles County

Tyler Steven Easter                                                                             Franklin County

Andrew Thomas Ehrhard                                                                    Shenandoah County

Jonathan Thomas Fitch                                                                       Rockbridge County

Michael Floyd Fury                                                                              Fluvanna County

Nicholas Ryan Graham                                                                       Hampton/Newport News

Jeffery Todd Hackney                                                                         Giles County

Corey Michael Hall                                                                             King George County

Joel Riley Hodges                                                                                Franklin County

Matthew Ryan Hoppes                                                                       Bedford County

Mario Jamar Hunter                                                                           Isle of Wight County

Kenneth Wayne Joyner                                                                       Campbell County

Christopher Scott Kesler                                                                     Orange County

Ryan Thomas King                                                                              Roanoke County

James Clifton Kirkland                                                                        Campbell County

Seth Walker Layton                                                                             Henrico County/Richmond

Adam Eugene Martin                                                                          Mecklenburg County

Paul David McMillan                                                                          Botetourt County

Tyler Clifton Miller                                                                              Augusta County

Justin Randall Myrick                                                                          Pittsylvania County

James Henry Newby                                                                            Pittsylvania County

Alison Amber Nowacki                                                                        Richmond County

Matthew Joel O’Dell                                                                           Franklin County

Meet Ravjibhai Parbadia                                                                    Prince William County

Charles Hugo Parsons, III                                                                    Rockbridge County

Ronnie McCoy Pearce, Jr.                                                                   Sussex County

Joseph Christian Rader                                                                       Augusta County

Michael Lee Rogers                                                                            Henrico County

Barry Alan Schell                                                                                 Highland County

Sean Christopher Scott                                                                       Chesterfield County

Eric Byron Smith                                                                                 Page County

Gary O’Neil Smith                                                                               Henrico County/Richmond

Paul Anthony Sprouse                                                                        Rockbridge County

Matthew Prescott Stafford, II                                                             Bedford County

Joseph Michael Utt                                                                             Franklin County

Daniel Colby Vaughan                                                                         Henrico County/Richmond

Michael Dale Wade, II                                                                         Franklin County

James Douglas Waller                                                                        Bath County

Dylan James Welsh                                                                             Botetourt County

Charles Hubert Wheeler                                                                     Caroline County

Alison Jean Willis                                                                                Rockingham County

 

 

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WELCOME EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBER

RICHMOND – On Oct. 25, 2020, Virginia State Police Captain Richard K. Boyd officially joined the Department’s executive team as a Major and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). Major Boyd started his career with Virginia State Police in 2004 after graduating from the academy with the 106th Basic Session. Boyd is picking up this leadership position from Major Keith Keesee, who is retiring effective Jan. 1, 2021. Keesee has served as the BCI Deputy Director since his appointment on Feb. 10, 2018. Keesee served with Virginia State Police for 30 years.

Prior to this promotion, Boyd was commander of the BCI Richmond Field Office where he ensured that the latest investigative tactics, extensive jurisdictional partnerships, and comprehensive and consistent training came together to produce positive outcomes while combating crime. In addition, Boyd is a member of the Central Virginia Overdose Working Group, the Richmond Regional Human Tracking Collaborative and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia.

Boyd started his journey with Virginia State Police as a Trooper assigned to the Culpeper Division’s Area 5 Office in the Fredericksburg area. From there, he continued to serve the Culpeper Division as a Special Agent where he investigated middle and upper level drug distributors and organizations on the state and federal level. He was then promoted to Supervisory Special Agent coordinating the FBI Safe Streets Task Force where he led a multi-jurisdictional team of law enforcement agents. In 2014, Boyd continued to serve the Culpeper Division as First Sergeant in the General Investigation Section (GIS) and then in 2016 as Lieutenant. In 2017, he came to Headquarters in Richmond where he was Captain and Director of the Office of Internal Affairs.

Major Boyd has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Clemson University, a Master’s of Legal Studies Degree from American University and attended the 2017 FBI National Academy 270th Session.

Statewide Pumpkin Contest Aims to Keep Youth and Teens Safe on Halloween Night

SALEM, VA—Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) is joining with the Virginia State Police (VSP), Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office, and State Farm to encourage youth and teens to make good choices and celebrate responsibly as part of the statewide Halloween Safety Campaign and Pumpkin Carving Contest. The campaign’s focus is to prevent a tragedy on what is supposed to be a fun night for youth.

The peer-to-peer campaign traditionally involves activities planned through school and youth group programs across the Commonwealth, however, this year students will participate from their homes. YOVASO is taking the campaign virtual with the #ProtectYourPumpkin Pumpkin Carving Contest. The only requirement for participation is to include a safety message (i.e. Buckle Up, Slow Down, etc.) and “YOVASO” on the pumpkin, and tag @_yovaso_ on social media with #ProtectYourPumpkin. Those who do not have social media can submit their entry to YOVASO by completing a simple entry form.

All are welcome to participate, but only youth ages 11-20 are eligible for prizes. Pumpkin entries are due to YOVASO by October 31, 2020 at midnight. YOVASO will pick 10 pumpkins for public voting November 2-4, 2020. Voting will close at noon on the 4th. The five entries with the most votes will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Schools and youth groups that plan to participate in trunk-or-treats or other Halloween safety events may request activity books, safety banners, and posters with the message: Staying Safe is the Trick, Having Fun is the Treat. Buckle Up, Be Seen, and Make Good Choices.

Nationwide, between 2014 and 2018, there were 145 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1).* According to NHTSA, 41% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2014 to 2018 were in crashes involving a drunk driver.

“Halloween falls on a weekend this year and that typically means more celebrations and an increase in risk for drivers and young trick-or-treaters,” said Mary King, YOVASO program manager.  “Poor decisions behind the wheel, such as texting and driving, underage drinking and drug use, speeding, and forgetting to buckle up can ruin what is supposed to be a fun occasion. Help keep this Halloween safe for all by celebrating responsibly and using extra caution when driving in neighborhoods.”  

Here Are Some Suggested Safety Tips for Teens to Follow for a safe Halloween:

  • Avoid driving during “Halloween Rush Hour” from 5:30-9 p.m. when children are trick–or-treating.

  • Drive below the speed limit in residential neighborhoods and use alternate routes when possible.

  • Scan ahead for trick-or-treaters and yield to pedestrians.

  • Use caution around stopped vehicles in neighborhoods and proceed slowly.

  • Drive distraction-free.

  • Celebrate responsibly and resist any peer pressure to celebrate Halloween with alcohol and/or drugs or to drive while impaired—it’s illegal.

  • Do not ride with any drivers who may have used alcohol and/or drugs.

  • Be on the alert for drivers who could be under the influence of something other than sweets.

  • Remember to always buckle up.

Safety Tips for Youth to Follow for a Fun and Safe Halloween:

  • Avoid distractions and leave electronic devices at home while walking or biking

  • Wear reflective clothing

  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick

  • Walk on sidewalks when possible

  • Only trick-or-treat in well-lit neighborhoods

  • Older students should always travel in pairs or large groups and let parents know where you      are going

  • Younger students should always trick or treat with a parent or adult supervision

  • Never approach a stranger’s car

  • Make good decisions and avoid any mischief that could ruin a fun night

  • Stay alert and Be Seen on Halloween in case motorists are not be watching out for you

 For more information on the Pumpkin Carving Contest and safety tips, visit the YOVASO website.

 

YOVASO is Virginia’s peer‐to‐peer education and prevention program for teen driver and passenger safety. Through YOVASO, teens work to advocate for safer driving among their peers and to develop positive prevention strategies for their schools and communities. The program, which currently has 115 active member schools and youth groups across Virginia, is administered by the Virginia State Police and funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. YOVASO also receives support from State Farm.

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