Members of the Winchester community and beyond are paying their respects to fallen officer Hunter Edwards, who died in a single vehicle accident late Saturday night.
“The Winchester Police Department suffered a tremendous loss,” said police chief John Piper. “Officer Edwards was here a little over four years and he truly had a passion for police work.”
Piper says Edwards, who was just 30-years-old, was part of the SWAT team and a member of the civil disturbance unit.
“He didn’t come here to do the bare minimum. He came here to give back to his community and the men and women of the police department.” said Piper.
The crash is still being investigated by the Virginia State Police, but Piper says Edwards was responding to a call about a large fight on South Loudoun Street when his patrol car spun out on Jubal Early Drive, striking the guard rail and a tree.
According to Virginia State Police’s public relations director Corinne Geller, Edwards was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
“It was not raining or sleeting or snowing at the time of the crash, but the roadway was wet at the time,” said Geller in a phone interview. “State Police Culpeper Division’s crash reconstruction team is working with the trooper in identifying the exact cause of the crash.”
City manager Eden Freeman ordered flags to be lowered in honor of Edwards, and Virginia governor Ralph Northam tweeted Sunday that flags across the commonwealth will be flown at half-staff on Friday, when Edwards will be buried.
“Officer Edwards is a hero,” said Piper. “He gave the ultimate sacrifice. He died doing what he loved and that’s serving the community and trying to make Winchester a better place.”