NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Virginia police officer was killed Thursday night when a vehicle she stopped in response to a drug complaint sped off, dragging her for at least one block before pinning her against a tree.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters on Friday Officer Katherine “Katie” Thyne and another officer asked the driver of the detained vehicle to step out of the car, but he sped away, and Thyne became entangled, CNN reported.
When the driver crashed the car into a tree, Thyne was pinned between the car door and the tree, WCYB reported.
The police department confirmed Thyne later succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital.
“She was a true hero and served this community,” Drew told reporters, adding, “She is and will always be a valued member of the department.”
The driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Vernon Evander Green, was arrested shortly after the crash and charged with homicide, drug possession and attempting to evade and elude law enforcement, CNN reported.
A New Hampshire native, Thyne, 24, joined the department in 2018 after serving in the U.S. Navy. She was active in the Navy Reserves and is survived by her 2-year-old daughter, mother, stepfather, brother and partner, WCYB reported.
Support for the department and Thyne’s survivors flooded social media on Friday.
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