As the discussion between McGraw and Stewart took place, a driver of a white passenger car traveling on the North bound side of Highway 23 lost control, crossed the median, and struck the front left side of Officer McGraw’s patrol vehicle. Officer Stewart caught a glimpse of the vehicle coming towards them and was able to react within a moment’s notice to grab McGraw and pull her out of the path of the spinning patrol car.
On October-03-2021 at approximately 5:00 PM, Officer Jessica McGraw was in the process of conducting a motor vehicle accident investigation on Highway 23 S. at the 6 mile marker. Officer Matthew Stewart responded to the scene of the crash investigation upon McGraw’s request to assist with clarification of an issue with one of the individual drivers’ license status. Officers McGraw and Stewart discussed this issue off of the roadway next to Officer McGraw’s vehicle.
The impact of the passenger vehicle rapidly forced the patrol vehicle off the shoulder of the road towards the conversing officers.
Officer Stewart immediately checked the well-being of the driver while Officer McGraw relayed information to Scott County Central Dispatch to get rescue and fire units in route. It is my belief the quick actions of Officer Stewart not only saved himself from serious bodily injury or death but also that of Officer McGraw. The only minor injury reported was from Officer Stewart who stated his leg “went numb like I had a bad charley horse”.
Upon review of the dash camera footage it appears the brush guard of Officer McGraw’s patrol vehicle brushed against Officer Stewart’s leg as he pushed McGraw out of the way. Both Officers are expected to return to regular duty.
Virginia State Police conducted the accident investigation involving the driver of the white passenger car and the Gate City Police Cruiser. The driver was issued a citation for failure to maintain proper control of their vehicle.
Justin C. Miller
Chief of Police