CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Tuesday, the bodies of two Chesterfield deputies killed in a crash in Isle of Wight county were brought to a local funeral home.
“We’ll get through it, it won’t be easy, but we’ll make it,” Sheriff Karl Leonard said somberly in an interview with CBS 6.
The Chesterfield Sheriff’s Department and many in the community mourn the loss of the Mallory brothers.
“Within the blink of an eye we lost two of our best friends,” said Lt. Gregory Thomas.
Mallory, affectionately known as “Hollywood” retired recently as a deputy from the department, but was just brought back on, as a part-time deputy.
“He just had that sunny entertaining personality that made you feel good,” said Lt. Thomas.
His brother, 65-year-old Earl Garnett Mallory III was still working with the department as a jail maintenance supervisor.
“It’s been very quiet at work today, very solemn, it’s still very hard for us to believe that they are gone,” Lt. Gregory shared.
Police said Monday that the brothers were riding down Route 460 in Isle of White county when their PT Cruiser was struck head on by a grain truck after the driver lost control of his farm equipment.
Investigators said Hollywood and Garnett were killed instantly.
The driver of the grain truck, Walter Crocker, Jr., was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with serious injuries. He was charged with reckless driving, and failure to maintain proper control.
State Police said the crash remains under investigation.
In 2015, John’s granddaughter and Garnett’s four-year-old great-niece, Virginia Rose died of cancer. On Tuesday, her mom Jennifer Vandermark, who is John’s daughter, released a statement to CBS 6 about her dad and uncle.
“Everyone they knew had more than one special story with them. They had a way of making you feel special and like you are one in a million. They were genuine people who loved tell a good story, loved with their whole heart and loved to make people laugh. They truly cared for others and would drop what they were doing to be able to help you out. The world got a little darker and heaven a little brighter yesterday. I can only imagine the reunion that was had yesterday. I hope they give my Virginia Rose a hug for me.”
Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard said the family’s strength is admirable.
“When they’ve been through so much, they are my heroes because I’ve never seen somebody have so much adversity thrown at them, but yet be able to stand it and come back even stronger,” Sheriff Leonard said.
The funeral service for the Mallory brothers will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 30, at Southside Church of the Nazarene in Chesterfield County.