Winchester, VA – Winchester Police Department Officer Hunter Edwards died in the line of duty on Saturday, when he lost control of his patrol vehicle as he was responding to a disturbance involving nearly 100 people.
Officer Edwards, 30, was traveling on East Jubal Early Drive at approximately 11:10 p.m., when his 2006 Ford Crown Victoria careened off of the right-hand-side of the road and crashed into both a tree and a guardrail, The Washington Post reported.
He was just blocks away from the scene of the reported fight when the single-vehicle collision occurred.
Officer Edwards was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, WTTG reported.
“This is going to be a very difficult time for Hunter’s family and for each of us,” Winchester Police Chief John Piper told his officers at the Winchester Medical Center on Sunday, according to the news outlet. “Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other.”
Officer Edwards, a four-year veteran of the department, was assigned to the patrol division at the time of his death, the department said in a press release.
He was also a member of the agency’s SWAT team, and had served on the Civil Disturbance Unit.
On Monday, Winchester City Manager Eden Freeman ordered that the city’s flags be flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen officer, the department said in a Twitter post.
“He’s one of those guys that, when it came to putting a uniform on, it was all about business and protecting the community,” his longtime friend, Brandon Grey told The Winchester Star. “But when it came to family and everything else, he was the happiest guy in the world.”
Officer Edwards leaves behind his wife, Tara, as well as his stepson, and many friends and family members, according to the paper.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Winchester Police Officer Hunter Edwards, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.