Family of fallen trooper fights to toughen law

Posted on: 1:40 pm, January 27, 2014, by

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.

9 comments

  • This is a tragedy every way you look at it………..With that being said, In these types of tragedies……the families want the book thrown at the guilty party…….In Virginia, an accident……which is nothing more than an unintended chain of events, will get you a ticket every time……..I think one must examine the chain of events leading up to the accident…..which I am not privy too………was the guilty party…….so culpable…….that their actions grossly contributed to the accident…….?

    • Obviously, since the Trooper is dead…..how about a car plows into your wife…or your son or daughter…think the driver who ran over your son’s face grossly contributed to her face being run over????? Well, do ya??

  • Joe says:

    While tragic, arming the government with even more poison to use against its own citizenry is..painful to watch.

    Let’s start up the castrations for jaywalking next.

  • Robert, I understand your questions. My sister was killed in the line of duty under similar circumstances. In our case, the woman that killed my sister was never charged, as she should have been. I would have been happy with at least a reckless driving ticket. Most of all, I would have been happy with at the very least, an apology from the woman. The difference with these cases and the normal accident is that these troopers are required to stand in these dangerous locations to protect the citizens from possibly hitting each other. Oftentimes, it can be a mere two second glance at a cell phone or glance into a rearview mirror that leads to these tragedies. Knowing the circumstances from that night, it could have been avoided. I hope that explains it a bit.

  • Anybody who stands on the side of a dark road at night is foolish and tempting fate even if it is in the line of duty. The danger comes with the job and if it’s too much risk for the person perhaps a new occupation should be considered.

    • Philip Caudery says:

      Mr. Jackson I find your comment appalling !! As a retired Police Officer who has directed traffic in the DAY TIME during parades and marathons and been the target of frustrated drivers who are only concerned about themselves I suggest that you put on the uniform and make the sacrifice that these men and women do every day. I resort to the old proverb of don’t judge a person until you have walked in their shoes !!

    • Nick Johnson says:

      And anyone that doesn’t have the common decency to slow down or move the hell over should never be allowed to operate a motor vehicle again. It’s not like you don’t see the flashing lights for miles. Foolish? Lets see you put on a uniform and protect the citizens…and it wouldn’t be a risk if people like you would MOVE OVER

  • Sheryl says:

    Amen, Nick! Whether we like it or not, in the state of Virginia, it is the law to move over when we see the flashing lights! If you don’t, you can be ticketed. So, to aim for an officer who is trying to control a crowded traffic situation at night and can keep all parties safe, then hit, maim, and/or kill that officer and then you get basically a slap on the wrist! Something is wrong with the system, it is broken, and must be fixed!

    Mr. Jackson, you are an untrained, disrespectful, selfish, spoiled little brat who cares for no one but yourself. If you ever have children…God forbid, I pray one of them decides to become a first responder. Maybe then, you may have a change in your thinking. Probably not….

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