State Trooper killed in line of duty

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2006

Special to the News-Herald

SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia State Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the line-of-duty death of a Virginia State Police trooper Friday afternoon in Southampton County (Va.).

The incident occurred on Route 58 near the Southampton County community of Adams Grove, which is approximately five miles east of the Greensville County line.

Senior Trooper Robert A. Hill, 42, had stopped a 2002 Mercury Cougar headed westbound on Route 58 for a traffic violation. At approximately 1:10 p.m., as Hill was in the process of issuing a summons to the driver, a westbound 1995 Cadillac ran off the highway and onto the right shoulder. The Cadillac struck the stopped car and Hill.

The 19-year Virginia State Police veteran died at the scene.

The driver of the Cadillac, Lowell J. Carrington, 84, of Franklin, Va. was flown by Virginia State Police Med-Flight helicopter to Norfolk Sentara Hospital for treatment.

A Sentara spokeswoman reported he was in fair condition as of yesterday evening.

The driver of the Mercury Cougar, a Virginia Beach woman, suffered minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

No charges have been filed at this time, said Sgt. D.S. Carr, public information officer for the Virginia State Police.

“Trooper Hill will be missed,” Carr said. “He was very active in the community and did a lot of things for underprivileged children, especially at Christmas time.”

Though born in North Carolina, Hill grew up in Southampton County. A graduate of Franklin (Va.) High School, Hill joined the Virginia State Police in 1987.

After graduating as a member of the 81st Basic Session in 1988, he was first assigned to the Chesapeake Division’s Area 36 Office with patrol duties in Sussex County. In 1993, Hill transferred to Area 34 and was assigned to Southampton County.

In addition to his patrol duties, Hill was a crime prevention specialist for the State Police.

“The Virginia State Police extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Senior Trooper Robert Hill,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. “This incredible tragedy is not only impacting the members of our department, but those within the Franklin and Southampton communities as well.”

“Through his years on patrol and as an active Crime Prevention Specialist, Robert’s dedication and professionalism earned him the utmost respect and admiration from his law-enforcement peers and area residents,” said Flaherty.

Hill is survived by a wife and two children, a 17-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

(Don Koralewski, editor of the Tidewater (Va.) News in Franklin and Ashley McKnight-Taylor, staff writer of the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald, both sister publications of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, contributed to this story.)