Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 10, 2014

Fox family seeks state’s support

TAZEWELL, Va. — The family of the late Trooper Andrew David Fox is making efforts to gather support for “Andrew’s Law,” a bill that seeks to increase the penalty in cases where emergency responders or highway workers are killed by reckless drivers.

Fox, 27, was serving as a Virginia State Trooper on Oct. 5, 2012, when a distracted driver ran over him as he was directing traffic at the Virginia State Fair. The offending driver was fined $1,000 and given a 12-month suspended sentence. The Fox family approached Virginia State Senator Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell, who drafted SB 293, a bill that seeks to make it a felony to kill or injure an emergency responder or highway worker who is on the job performing public service.

In an email message sent Sunday afternoon to media throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fox family spokesperson, Lauren Fox, stated that the family learned on Jan. 31, that the House Appropriations Committee would not take up the House version of “Andrew’s Law,” HB 1148, even though it passed through three Senate committees unanimously and passed the Senate on a bipartisan 40-0 vote on Friday.

Fox noted in her email that Andrew’s Bill has the support of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Professional Firefighters Association, the Virginia State Police Association and the Virginia State Firefighters’ Association.

“I do not understand why a committee that was voted into office by thousands of people who supported this bill would not even deem it worthy to hear,” Lauren Fox wrote. “I especially do not understand why anyone who values the lives of men and women who are required to work in Virginia’s roads to protect and serve all the citizens of the Commonwealth would refuse to even give the bill a fair hearing.”

Lauren Fox said that the family is puzzled as to why the bill can’t get a fair hearing in the House. “What happened to my brother was not a result of accidental behavior.” she wrote. “It was a result of reckless behavior and when that behavior destroys lives, it should be punished as more than a misdemeanor.”

Puckett’s bill, SB 293, should move to the House on Tuesday. Lauren Fox expressed the thought that sharing the story of Andrew’s Law, “would be worth more than anything in the world to us,” she wrote.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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