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Dublin-based trooper involved in fatal crash

 

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By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A Pearisburg trooper based out of the Virginia State Police office in Dublin was involved in a wreck that killed a Pembroke woman Thursday.

According to State Police First Sgt. Mike Honaker, Trooper J.C. Reynolds, 25, was preparing to stop a speeding motorist when a 2002 Ford pickup truck operated by Phyllis Marie Cumbee, 61, of Cascade Drive pulled into Route 460 in front of Reynolds’ 2010 Ford Crown Victoria, department-issued police cruiser.

The front of the police vehicle collided with the driver side door of the pickup, ejecting Cumbee from the vehicle, according to Honaker. He said she was not wearing a seatbelt.

Cumbee was pronounced dead at the scene of the 8:34 a.m. crash, just west of Pembroke. Reynolds was transported to Giles Community Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and then released.

According to Honaker, the investigation revealed Reynolds was westbound on Route 460 attempting to overtake a vehicle that was speeding through Pembroke just prior to the wreck.

“He had activated his emergency lights when he first turned on the speeding vehicle and began to travel west in an effort to overtake the violator,” Honaker said of Reynolds’ actions. “Once he left the town of Pembroke he briefly deactivated the emergency lights and slowed down because he was going to allow the speeding motorist to travel a little further down the highway to a better and safer location to execute a traffic stop.”

Honaker said investigating officers indicated Reynolds was in the left lane, preparing to move to the right lane behind the vehicle he intended to stop when “Cumbee pulled from a stop sign (on Grill Road) to the right of him and into the center of the roadway, where the collision occurred.” She apparently was going to use a crossover to enter the eastbound lanes of travel, he added.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

Traffic on Route 460 was detoured for several hours due to the wreck and subsequent investigation. All lanes were reopened at 3:03 p.m.

 

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