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Family of fallen trooper fights to toughen law

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – The family of a Virginia State trooper who was struck and killed by a reckless driver was at the State Capital Monday, urging lawmakers to pass what’s known as “Andrew’s Law.”

Trooper Andrew Fox was struck and killed directing traffic at the Virginia State Fair in Oct. 2012. According to family members, Fox was wearing a reflective vest and standing next to police cars at the time of the wreck.

The driver who struck Fox was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving, received a 12 month suspended sentence, and was fined $1,000.

“This is a problem that is much bigger than one person.  It happens so often and things need to change,” said Lauren Fox, trooper Fox’s sister.

Senate bill 293 would make it a class five felony when a reckless driver hits an emergency responder and causes them serious bodily harm or death.

“There is obviously something wrong with our values and a big gap in the penalty for reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Julie Fox, trooper Fox’s mother, testified in front of the Senate Committee of Courts and Justice.

The Fox family is now leading a grassroots campaign to get “Andrew’s Law” into Virginia code, but the way Andrew lost his life is not unfamiliar to the Fox family.

Fox’s father is a veteran policeman in southwest Virginia, who said he has narrowly avoided being hit by vehicles on a scene multiple times.

SB 293 passed through the Senate Committee of Courts and Justice on Monday, but the Fox family has been told to expect some opposition in the House of Delegates.  Lauren Fox is urging Virginians to join their campaign and ask lawmakers to pass the legislation.

“Another family won’t have to deal with what we have to deal with.  Another family won’t have to deal with the heart-ache we’ve had,” said Fox.

SB 293 now goes to the Senate Finance Committee.