Popular State Trooper from Suffolk is Killed on I-95 in Prince George County
The death of a Virginia state trooper in a car crash this week has again highlighted the dangers of the job and left the community of a Suffolk school mourning.
Trooper Nathan-Michael Smith was from Suffolk and graduated from Nansemond River High School, WAVY.com reported. He died when he lost control of his cruiser and hit several trees this week in Prince George County.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that the 27-year-old was talking the exit ramp to get onto Interstate 95 from I-295 when he lost control of his cruiser and the Taurus ran off the left side of the road, Virginia State Police said in a news release.
He was flown by helicopter to VCU Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. At the time of the crash he was heading to an accident scene in which a man from Louisiana ran off the road, struck a guard rail and was killed.
WAVY spoke to Smith’s high school band director Edward Woodis who spoke of a feeling of loss at Nansemond River.
“It really does hit home,” Woodis said. “It hurts.”
The trooper was a band member who sounded his tuba at every football game.
“He was an excellent musician,” Woodis said. “He had an ear.”
Smith later “took his talents to Norfolk State University and became section leader of the tubas,” reported WAVY. He then took those leadership skills to Virginia State Police.
Last year a trooper was injured when he attempted to stop a 2002 Honda in Newport News after seeing the driver use the “Authorized Vehicles Only crossover.” In the same year a state trooper was injured in a six vehicle crash on I-264 in Virginia Beach.
These accidents again highlights the dangers faced by Virginia State Police. Emergency workers are protected by Virginia’s “move over law” but it is widely flouted. The department has lost more than 50 state troopers in the line of duty since 1928. Of these, 33 were killed in traffic accidents.
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