Police: Driver hits state trooper in work zone, flees scene

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — State Police are looking for the driver who crashed into a state trooper’s cruiser on I-264 in Virginia Beach and then left the scene.

According to a news release from Sgt. Michelle Anaya with Virginia State Police, around 2 a.m., someone crashed a silver 2015 Nissan into the back of the cruiser in a work zone west of Lynnhaven Parkway on westbound I-264.

“Right around the gas tank area, just a few inches to the left of the bumper, spreading to the right,” said Trooper Michael Cherry, who was inside of the car when it was hit. “Again, it was a sideswipe type of action.”

The 18-year veteran of the police force was not injured.

“I’m fortunate. I’m blessed that I was able to walk away from this relatively unscathed. At least I haven’t felt any pain yet,” said Trooper Cherry.

VDOT workers saw the driver exit the interstate on to Rosemont Road immediately following the crash. Officers found the suspect’s vehicle abandoned in a nearby parking lot.

“It’s a little scary. But unfortunately this isn’t the first time for me either. So this has happened before and fortunately again, I’ve been able to walk away unscathed,” said Trooper Cherry.

He says state police are trained to be aware of their surroundings and be careful when working on roadways. But, they need the public to do the same.

“The important thing is to not wait to the last minute because that’s when problems start happening,” Trooper Cherry said.

Also, Trooper Cherry says drivers need to pay attention to the digital message boards used on the highways. He said, “If it literally says there is a safety work zone ahead, slow down and take heed to that. Pay attention to it. By all means, that is the easiest way to basically help us with out safety while we’re out there getting work done.”

Stay with WAVY.com for updates as they become available.