Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 25, 2014

Andrew’s Law clears hurdle, on to next House committee

RICHMOND, Va. — A measure that seeks to increase the penalty for reckless driving causing the death of a law enforcement officer, emergency responder or highway employee is still alive in the House.

Family members of the late Tazewell County native and Virginia State Trooper Andrew Fox were allowed Monday to speak before the House Courts Subcommittee in support of the bill also known as “Andrew’s Law,” according to Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell.

“We had a long hearing,” Puckett said. “The family got to speak again, and several organizations that supported the bill spoke on their behalf. I was very appreciative of the committee for allowing them to speak and hear us out. It (the measure) is still alive, and that is probably the best we could hope for.”

Puckett said the bill is now most likely heading to the House Appropriations Committee.

“The committee clerk will work on the cost or the amount we should have on that bill,” Puckett said.

The Fox family approached Puckett a few weeks before the start of the current General Assembly session and asked him to patron the bill that would later become SB 293.

Fox was killed on Oct. 5, 2012, when he was run over by a distracted driver at the Virginia State Fair. The woman later pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving causing death, received a 12-month suspended sentence and a $1,000 fine.

Andrew’s Law cleared the Senate on a 40-0 vote. It still faces an uncertain future in the House.

Andrew Fox worked for the town of Tazewell Police Department prior to entering the Virginia State Police Academy. He served as a trooper from 2006-2012.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

 

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