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The first female deputy in the King George County Sheriff's Office was killed in a two-vehicle crash Sunday.
Sharon B. Zwicker joined the department on Nov. 1, 1981, and served 27 years before she retired on Jan. 1, 2009, said Sheriff Steve Dempsey. The month after retirement, she came back to work part time and maintained that status, helping with civil processing and court security as needed, the sheriff said.
"She was certainly a valued person," Dempsey said. "She was beloved and appreciated by all around her."
Zwicker, 54, was not on duty when the accident happened.
At 2:48 p.m. Sunday, she was in her 2000 Saturn station wagon at the intersection of U.S. 301 and State Route 623 in King George. She failed to yield the right of way at the stop sign and was struck by a 2005 Nissan Altima, according to Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police.
The impact caused the Saturn to overturn before coming to a rest, Molnar said.
Zwicker was traveling west on Route 623 and the Nissan was traveling north on U.S. 301 at the time of the crash, Molnar said.
Zwicker, who was wearing her seatbelt, died at the scene.
The Nissan driver, April Hall, 19, of Chaptico, Md., and passenger, Collin Brooks, 21, of Mechanicsville, Md., suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
The Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and the King George County Sheriff's Office
Zwicker served as a school resource and DARE officer, Dempsey said. She was known as "Officer Brand," her maiden name, in schools.
"She was quiet, but you knew her presence was here in the school," said Billie Jo Derrow, a math teacher at King George Middle School. "She spoke with the kids, was there for them whenever they needed to talk to her about anything going on."
After Zwicker retired, she worked with her husband, Morgan, in the family business, Pinehill Towing & Automotive. The Zwickers have two grown children.
Her husband called her a "loving mother and very caring person" as well as a "saved Christian woman."
He said she was the kind of person who would sit back and observe the situation before she made any comment or took action.
But if someone was in need, she didn't hesitate.
"She was always willing to reach out to people who were stranded or in trouble, to go out of her way to make sure they were taken care of until help arrived," Morgan Zwicker said.
Sharon Zwicker graduated from King George High School in 1976 and was a member of Westmoreland Independent Baptist Church.
Funeral arrangements were not available at press time.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425