Police: Hit-and-run driver kills former Commonwealth's Attorney T.O. 'Lanny' Rainey who was riding a bicycle

Posted at 8:47 AM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 19:28:09-05

DIWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. — Former Dinwiddie County Commonwealth's Attorney T.O."Lanny" Rainey III was killed Thursday evening while riding his bicycle, according to Virginia State Police.

The driver of the Nissan Frontier pickup truck that hit Rainey on Flatfoot Road did not stop at the scene, police said.

The hit-and-run was reported at about 6:15 p.m.

Police do not yet know the color of the truck involved in the fatal hit-and-run, but part of a side view mirror left at the crash site was consistent with Nissan Frontier built between 2005 thru 2010.

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T.O. Rainey III seen in a 2015 interview with CBS 6

Rainey, 70, served as Dinwiddie County Commonwealth's Attorney from 1986 through 2003.

He also started Hill & Rainey law firm in Dinwiddie.

"Lanny Rainey was a dear friend and colleague that the rest of us strived to emulate," attorney Adrienne George-Eliades said. "He was the type of person who took the time to assist you in any way he could even when he didn’t have the time. He was dedicated to his family, his friends, his community, and his profession."

George-Eliades said Rainey would be remembered for his generosity, integrity and, humility.

"Most of all he will be remembered as a stand-up guy who always strived to do what was right," she said." In short, Dinwiddie and the Commonwealth have lost a remarkable man."

Amanda Nicole Mann, a friend of Rainey, said while he was a brilliant attorney, he would be remembered even better as a good man and a great friend.

"T.O. was vital to not only my decision to run for Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney but to my campaign. His words of wisdom and encouragement were present in every conversation we had. He had faith in me and my ability to serve Dinwiddie. Just hours before his death he answered my call and as we joked so many times before, said "hello madam Commonwealth. " I said "hello judge."

Friend Linda Tomlin said while she is shattered by this loss, she remembers Rainey as an "encyclopedia of knowledge."

"I first met Lanny 23 years ago as a new lawyer. He was the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Dinwiddie County at the time. Even though I was a new defense attorney, Lanny became a mentor to me always there to answer a question or two. From there, our friendship grew. When he was hospitalized waiting for a new heart, I would visit and take him a new history book. He loved history and was an encyclopedia of knowledge. I could sit and listen to him for long periods of time. Over the years our friendship grew stronger. I could always count on an encouraging word from my friend. We talked often including the afternoon of February 16th. Who could have known that that would be the last time I would ever hear his laugh or his “you’ve got this Linda.?” My heart and world is shattered at this tremendous loss. This kind and gentle soul will be forever missed."

Remembering former Commonwealth's Attorney T.O. 'Lanny' Rainey

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