CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – It has been a tragic weekend for some Central Virginia families after three fatal crashes. However, one former law enforcement member said it is also difficult for officers who have to deliver the bad news.
Retired State Trooper David Green knows how sensitive you have to be when delivering upsetting news. He was a trooper chaplain for a decade and delivered well over 100 death notices.
“It has to come from the heart — you have to have a kind heart,” Green said. “Every time you get a different reaction. Nothing is ever the same. When I get to the door, knock on it and they see chaplain [and] they know it’s not good news.”
Green said each circumstance, from singe to multiple fatality crashes, present different challenges. And when those crashes happen on a holiday weekend, it only makes it more painful.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow when you have to tell someone their loved one has died,” Green said.
The Easter holiday was a busy one for police chaplains in Central Virginia after three fatal wrecks.
Troopers responded around 4:30 a.m to a fatal crash at mile marker 89 northbound on I-95. Before that, police responded to a fatal motorcycle crash on Winterpock Road early Sunday morning.
Police also said a 73-year-old George Van Orden was killed in a crash Friday night off Midlothian Turnpike and Moorefield Parkway.
Karon Porter, a man police said fled that accident scene on foot, was arrested and charged with 15 crimes including DUI and maiming.
Van Orden’s neighbors remembered him as a great guy and good neighbor. In his honor, they hug a Marine Corps flag because he served two tours in Vietnam.