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Caroline deputy injured in crash while on patrol
BY PORTSIA SMITH
A Caroline County deputy was injured early Sunday when his patrol car was struck head-on by a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.
According to Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police, troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 1 near CCC Road just south of Ladysmith.
Caroline Sheriff's deputy Mark O'Connor was driving his marked patrol car south on U.S. 1 about 2 a.m. when the driver of a 1999 Hyundai Elantra station wagon crossed over from the northbound lanes and hit him, Molnar said.
O'Connor, 41, was transported by ambulance to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Molnar said. He was wearing his seatbelt.
Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa said O'Connor has a broken arm and hip.
The driver of the Hyundai, Ho I Shin, 38, of Chesterfield, who also was wearing his seatbelt, was flown to Mary Washington Hospital with serious injuries that were not considered life-threatening. He was listed as a patient in the surgical intensive care unit Sunday night.
He was charged with driving under the influence, failure to stay right of center and failure to have a driver's license.
U.S. 1 was closed for about 90 minutes to allow state police investigators time to document the scene. The Caroline County Sheriff's Office assisted with the investigation.
O'Connor was recently recognized by the Caroline Board of Supervisors and named as a hometown hero by a Richmond law firm for rescuing a woman from a fire that broke out while she was asleep in her bedroom in February.
O'Connor, who has worked for the Caroline County Sheriff's Office for the past eight years, is no stranger to fires.
He was a volunteer firefighter with the Locust Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Louisa County from 1998 to 2007.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419