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Posted July 28, 2008 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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State trooper is fourth struck on interstate in last four months

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(From a press release) A Virginia State Police trooper is recovering from minor injuries sustained in a crash Saturday morning on Interstate 64 in Newport News. Senior Trooper Jesse F. Dennis is the fourth Virginia State Police trooper struck on an interstate in four months.

Dennis was sitting in his marked patrol car filling out a summons when his car was hit on the driver's side by a 2007 Chevrolet Quinox. Driver of the Equinox, Darnell Lamont Hinton, 27, Newport News, told state police that he fell asleep while driving. He was charged with one count of reckless driving. He suffered minor injuries.

Every month since April of this year a Virginia trooper has been struck by a passing vehicle during the course of a traffic stop on an interstate:

  • April 30, 2008 - Trooper J.T. Mahalik on Interstate 66, Fairfax Co.

  • May 13, 2008 - Master Trooper J.H. Rasnick on Interstate 81, Boutetourt Co.

  • June 16, 2008 - Sr. Trooper P.C. Gardner on Interstate 81 in Rockbridge Co.

In all four cases, the trooper was seated inside his patrol vehicle on the shoulder when struck.

To safeguard Virginia's troopers, State Police have spent the past year promoting the Commonwealth's "Slow Down, Move Over" law. Drivers are required to change to another travel lane or to slow down and cautiously pass all emergency personnel stopped on the side of a road.

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