Family remembers man killed in collision with Norfolk police cruiser

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — An accident Saturday night involving a Norfolk police cruiser left one man dead, and an officer with serious injuries.

Investigators say the cruiser slammed into a Toyota Prius at the intersection of Hampton Boulevard and Surry Crescent while on the way to a crime scene just after 10 p.m.

Police say the driver of the Prius, 79-year-old Robert E. Crittsinger Jr., died at the scene.

“I know we will get through this,” said Crittsinger’s daughter Ruth Washburn.

The last two days have been a nightmare for Washburn, and it started early Sunday morning with a knock on the door from Norfolk detectives.

“It was just surreal,” Washburn added. “I didn’t know what to think. My mind was trying to figure things out exactly I’m supposed to be doing next. This isn’t supposed to happen now.”

The officers told Washburn that her father had died. The accident happened when he was pulling out on to Hampton Boulevard and was t-boned by the officer who was headed to shooting call. The police cruiser’s lights and siren were activated.

Family says Crittsinger loved his faith, he loved people and loved his daughters.

“He always had an activity and always kept himself busy,” Washburn said.

Crittsinger was also involved in helping local political campaigns as he believed civic duty was so important.

“He would stay at the polls and have them sign petitions,” Washburn added. “He would spent whole day at the polls.”

That’s the way Washburn will remember her dad, but it’s tough not to let the bad thoughts get in the way.

“I just get so sad for my dad, because it shouldn’t have happened like this,” Washburn said. “He was such a gentleman.”

Friends and family will gather Tuesday night at Avalon Hills Bible Church in Virginia Beach for a memorial service. Crittsinger will be buried in New York.

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