PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State Police identified a State Trooper killed while responding to a fatal car crash in Prince George on Monday.
Twenty-seven-year-old Nathan-Michael W. Smith of Henrico is the 61st trooper to die in the line of duty, according to State Police.
Dispatch received a call that originally sounded like a trooper needing CPR and Smith headed to the scene around 7:10 a.m. He lost control of his vehicle on the I-295 ramp to Interstate 95 and drove off into the wooded area, according to State Police. He was taken to the hospital by helicopter with life-threatening injuries where he later died.
"A day like today is difficult," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller. "These kinds of scenes, these kinds of incidents are not easy and it never gets any easier."
Police say the call Smith was responding to turned out to be for a trooper giving CPR to a civilian after a crash on Route 460 East. In that crash, the driver of a pickup truck ran off the right side of the road and struck the guardrail. He was taken to Southside Regional Medical Center where he later died, investigators said.
The preliminary investigation suspects there was intercommunication on the radio.
"As radio traffic comes in, it can get a little confusing sometimes. Obviously, the priority at the scene is to render aid to anyone that's in need of it," said Geller. "It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, of course the troopers are listening out for each other and determining if they need more assistance at a crash site or not."
Police have not yet released the names of civilian killed in the crash.
The ramp from I-295S to I-95 has since reopened. The state police Richmond Division Crash Reconstruction Team is investigating the crash.
The Virginia State Police has an emergency fund for Trooper Smith. You can donate online or send a check. Click here for more information.
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