State Police charge driver in fatal 288 crash, ID woman killed

State Police charge driver in fatal 288 crash, ID woman killed
Trooper J.T. Glasscock (Source: Virginia State Police)
Trooper J.T. Glasscock (Source: Virginia State Police)

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A family is left heartbroken after a Chester mother is killed in a horrifying crash on Route 288 in Chesterfield on Monday.

Virginia State Police say that ice and speed were factors. A state trooper and a Chesterfield firefighter were also hurt.

Now Virginia State Police say Nicholas Pisula has been charged with reckless driving in the crash that killed 53-year-old Sharon Letender.

It's just been one tragic blow after another for the family. Letender's family says she just buried her father who died from cancer, and now her family is planning her funeral.

"It's been a lot. It's been a whole lot," said Jody Moore, Letender's future sister in law. "She loved her girls. She was just a good person."

Letender leaves behind a fiancee, two grown daughters and a rescue dog named Twister.

"Her dogs meant everything to her," says Dawn, Letender's future mother in law.

At 5:14 p.m. Monday, Virginia State Police Trooper J.T. Glasscock was called to a crash in the southbound lanes of Route 288 near Lucks Lane. A Dodge Ram pickup truck and a Volkswagen sedan were traveling north when they collided and slid into the median.

The driver of the Volkswagen was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the pickup truck, Sharon L. Letender, 53, of Chester, was not injured in the crash, nor were the two passengers in the Volkswagen.

While continuing with the crash investigation, Glasscock was standing with the crashed vehicles in the median with Letender and one of the two Volkswagen passengers when a Honda Civic traveling south on Route 288 ran off the left side of the highway.

The Civic, driven by Nicholas B. Pisula, 28, of Richmond, first struck Glasscock's patrol car. The impact of that crash spun the Civic around and caused it to slide into the median where it struck Glasscock, Letender and the male passenger, State Police said in a news release.

When struck by the Civic, Letender was thrown and struck a Chesterfield County firefighter also at the scene. Letender died at the scene.

"I wish the driver of the vehicle had slowed down, gotten over or not gotten on the road unless he had to," said Moore.

This family says they're using this time to be there for her daughters and fiancee who must learn to live without her.

"I really believe they were soul mates, and I hate what this has done to my son and to our family because it's a great loss," said Dawn.

Glasscock and the male passenger were transported to VCU Medical Center and are still being treated for serious injuries. A spokesperson for VSP said Glasscock "underwent extensive surgery today and will undergo a few more surgeries before being released from the hospital due to the severity of his injuries."

The firefighter was transported to St. Francis Medical Center for minor injuries.

Pisula was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seat belt.

State police say Pisula is now facing a reckless driving charge and was speeding. NBC12 looked into it and saw he has other driving infractions in Henrico from 2010 and 2012.

Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved