Prince George student killed while pulling over for police

Marvin Massenburg Jr.
Marvin Massenburg Jr.

PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - A 17-year-old Prince George High School senior was killed in a crash Tuesday morning, when he pulled over to let a police car pass.

Courthouse Road suddenly drops near the spot where Marvin Massenburg Jr. pulled to the side. His car tumbled off the road into a ravine into a swamp near Bull Hill Road.

Classmates are in disbelief. Matthew Lucas had several classes with Massenburg.

"I was shocked, completely. I didn't expect anything to happen to a guy like him," said Lucas.

Massenburg was a senior at Prince George High School and is described as an upbeat guy who worked hard and always had a smile on his face.

Senior, Shelby Emmerson has known Massenburg since 5th grade.

She learned about his death during lunch.

"Everybody was like did you hear about Marvin's accident. I was like no -- is he okay? They said no he died. It was really like a smack in the face," Emmerson said.

Investigators say around 7:40 a.m. a Prince George officer responding to a call about an alarm at the County Administration Building was traveling on Courthouse Road.  His lights and sirens were on.  According to the officer, he saw Massenburg Jr. pull over into the grassy embankment but the teen did not come to a complete stop. Investigators say Massenburg drove about 135 feet when the embankment suddenly drops into the ravine.  His car flipped over into about 10 feet of water and was completely submerged.

The officer called for help and jumped in. Another Prince George officer arrived a few minutes later, but neither could get Massenburg out. Only the bumper and rear tires of the vehicle was visible.  A crew pulled Massenburg's car from the water and that's when they found his body.  He was the only person in the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr. Bobby Browder Prince George Superintendent called Massenburg was a solid academic student who was well-known and respected by his peers.

"This is a major loss for the school system and the community," Browder said.

Massenburg played football his junior year and joined the band his senior year.

"A lot of people are upset and sad and not a lot of them are going to class they're just walking around," said classmate Darrell Downs.

Matthew Squires spoke with Massenburg a few hours before the accident.

"We were supposed to hang out this afternoon after band practice. He was just a dynamic guy - full of energy - rarely did you ever see him down," Squires explained.

Prince George High School will make an announcement about the death and hold a moment of silence at 1 p.m.

Guidance counselors are available to students now and will remain at the school, as long as needed.

The Virginia State Police is now investigating the cause of the crash.  They say there was another car traveling the same direction during the accident. State Police would like that driver to come forward so they can ask that person what they saw. Their contact information is 804- 553-3445.

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