Well-known Richmond officer almost killed Monday

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -   One of the Richmond Police Departments best-loved officers came within a whisker of dying after his police car was T-boned by a large pickup in a South Richmond intersection Monday evening, according to police sources.

Lt. Tommy Nolan, on the force for a quarter-century, was off-duty, pulling out from Ruffin Road onto Commerce Road by Phillip Morris when the crash occurred, according to an RPD police supervisor.

He suffered broken ribs, punctured lungs, a ruptured spleen and other injuries. He was rushed to the VCU Medical Center, where surgeons went to work on him. Those who were with him through the ordeal said it was a close thing.

The driver of the Dodge Ram suffered only minor injuries, and refused treatment, RPD spokesman Gene Lepley said. The crash remains under investigation.

Nolan is an old-school officer, Irish, known for his toughness, integrity and compassion. He’s done just about everything, including being a beat cop, sergeant in change of school resource officers, community assisted public safety and emergency communications. He’s one of Richmond’s best-known officers, recognized by people on the streets as well as the city’s top politicians.

So when he was fighting for his life Monday night, hundreds were pulling for him.

Tuesday evening, Lepley reported that Nolan appeared to be out of the woods. He remained in intensive care at VCU Medical Center, his family by his side.