PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- – Virginia State Police are mourning the loss of Trooper Nathan-Michael W. Smith, age 27, of Suffolk, who became the 61st sworn employee to die in the line of duty.
Smith was killed when his cruiser flipped into the woods and hit several trees Monday morning. Police said he was responding to what he believed to be a fellow trooper in distress when he lost control of his cruiser on the ramp from Interstate 295 south to Interstate 95 north in Prince George County.
It was later determined that the troopers understood the initial radio call as a citizen administering CPR to a trooper at the Route 460 crash scene. When, in fact, it was a trooper and citizen administering CPR to the driver of the pickup truck.
The state police Richmond Division Crash Reconstruction Team is investigating the Prince George County crash, which remains under investigation.
"Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Route 460 in Dinwiddie County. A 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck was traveling east on Route 460, near Airport Street, when it ran off the right side of the road and struck the guardrail. The adult male driver was transported to Southside Regional Medical Center, where he died later Monday morning. The crash remains under investigation," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. "While responding to assist troopers at that crash, at approximately 7:20 a.m., a trooper took the I-295 south exit ramp to I-95 north in Prince George County. His patrol vehicle ran off the left side of the ramp. The patrol car overturned onto its side and struck several trees before coming to rest in the trees. The trooper was flown to VCU Medical Center, where he died later Monday morning."