UPDATE: New River Valley shows support after collision leaves Pulaski County deputy dead, other driver injured

New River Valley News

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: Following the loss of Sgt. Perry Hodge — who served among the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office’s School Resource Officers — in a head-on collision early Thursday morning Pulaski County Public Schools shared a statement about Hodge’s impact on local students.

The faculty & staff of Pulaski County Public Schools have been devastated by the loss of Sergeant Perry Hodge of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. During his many years as a School Resource Officer, Sergeant Hodge proved to be a friendly face, valued mentor, and staunch advocate for thousands of students in Pulaski County. He was a dependable ally for teachers, an incredible resource for administrators, and a genuine friend to all who knew him. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him and wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and many other friends as they begin the incredibly difficult task of defining what this loss means for them. May we each have as positive of an impact through our work as did Perry Hodge.

Pulaski County Public Schools

UPDATE 12:33 p.m.: According to Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Guthrie, county buildings will be flying flags at half-staff for Sgt. Perry Hodge, who died after another driver collided with his truck early Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, within hours of the crash, a memorial was set up to honor the late Pulaski County deputy.

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Authorities say a Pulaski County deputy is dead, a Pulaski resident is seriously injured, and charges are pending after an early morning crash in Pulaski County.

Virginia State Police say they responded to a crash on Route 11 — just north of Dublin and a little over a mile south of Route 1170 — at approximately 4:09 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14.

According to police, a 2011 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck was heading south on Route 11 when it crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a northbound 1998 Ford F150 pickup truck.

The Ford driver — identified by officials as 49-year-old Sgt. Perry A. Hodge with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office — died at the scene of the crash.

“Sergeant Hodge was a very dedicated public servant with over 15 years of loyal service to the citizens of Pulaski County. He was currently serving as the Sergeant over our School Resource Officers,” the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook on Thursday. “During his time helping watch over all our babies, Sergeant Hodge was passionate about their safety and making sure all the kids felt loved and cared for. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

On the other hand, police say the driver of the Chevrolet — 26-year-old Michael D. Morris of Pulaski — was brought to the hospital with serious injuries.

Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to authorities.

Virginia State Police say charges are pending in connection with the crash, which is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies, government officials, and first responders across the New River Valley — and even the Roanoke Valley and central Virginia — have already shown their support on social media for Hodge’s family and coworkers, whether by replacing their profile pictures with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office badge or by sharing their thoughts and prayers.

The Radford Police Department described Hodge as “a devoted public servant,” adding that “his legacy, commitment, and motivation will forever be with us.”

According to the Bland County Sheriff’s Office, Hodge’s time at the New River Criminal Justice Training Academy allowed him to touch the lives of a generation of officers, saying that Hodge “set an exemplary example for the law enforcement community.”

Carroll County Sheriff Kevin Kemp shared his condolences on behalf of his entire office with Hodge’s family and coworkers, adding that he knew and trained with Hodge as a fellow School Resource officer.

“He impacted the lives of everyone who met and knew him in his personal and professional life,” Kemp said. “The Pulaski County community and the New River Valley area has experienced a great loss.”

Meanwhile, the Virginia Tech Police Department posted on Facebook, “In addition to everything Sgt. Hodge did for Pulaski and the NRV community, we were lucky to serve with him at Virginia Tech football games on campus and different COVID testing sites.”

According to the Dublin Police Department, “Chief Dennis Lambert refers to this quote which sums up Sgt. Perry Hodge ‘A Life That Touches Others Goes On Forever.'”

The Dublin Fire Department asked community members to keep the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Hodge’s family, and the first responders who knew him and/or responded to Thursday morning’s crash in their prayers.

The Pulaski County Joint 911 Communications Center not only extended their thoughts and prayers to Hodge’s family and the county’s public safety teams, but they also extended their appreciation to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Radford Police Department, and retired and past employees
“for offering their staff and services to assist our Center during this hard time.”

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