Pulaski County, VA – Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Sergeant Perry Hodge died in a two-vehicle crash early Thursday morning.
The collision occurred just before 4 a.m., as Sgt. Hodge, 49, was traveling north on Route 11 in his 1998 Ford F150 pickup, WSLS reported.
According to the Virginia State Police, (VSP), the driver of a southbound 2011 Chevrolet 1500 crossed over the centerline and slammed into Sgt. Hodge’s pickup head-on.
The sergeant died from his injuries at the scene, WDBJ reported.
Investigators said he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.
The driver of the Chevrolet has been identified as 26-year-old Michael Morris, WSET reported.
Morris was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries, and is expected to face charges, according to VSP.
The investigation into the fatal collision remains ongoing.
“Sergeant Hodge was a very dedicated public servant with over 15 years of loyal service to the citizens of Pulaski County,” the PCSO said in a Facebook post.
He was overseeing the department’s school resource officers at the time of his death.
“During his time helping watch over all our babies, Sergeant Hodge was passionate about their safety and making sure all the kids felt loved and cared for,” the PCSO said. “Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Pulaski County Public Schools said its faculty and staff are “devastated” by the loss of the veteran deputy.
“During his many years as a School Resource Officer, Sergeant Hodge proved to be a friendly face, valued mentor, and staunch advocate for thousands of students in Pulaski County. He was a dependable ally for teachers, an incredible resource for administrators, and a genuine friend to all who knew him,” the school district said in a Facebook post.
“We are thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him and wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and many other friends as they begin the incredibly difficult task of defining what this loss means for them,” the post read. “May we each have as positive of an impact through our work as did Perry Hodge.”
Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Guthrie issued a statement Thursday calling for county flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sgt. Hodge.
“The entire county is heartbroken by the news of the tragic, sudden, unexpected loss of Deputy Perry Hodge,” Guthrie said. “Deputy Hodge protected and served the county’s citizens faithfully and well in many capacities…This loss touches many in our community who knew him, respected him, and appreciated all he did for us as a first responder and public servant.”
A memorial flag has been left along Route 11 in #Pulaski, the site of a crash that killed Pulaski County Sheriff's Sgt. Perry Hodge.
— Janay Reece (@janay_reece) January 14, 2021
SGT P. Hodge will never be forgotten. He was an amazing person with a beautiful soul. He watched over the children of Pulaski County as if each one was his own. He arrived to the school HOURS before the students to make sure it was safe. Please pray for my brothers and sisters. pic.twitter.com/bVItgO4QrA
— tiffany🌻 (@_tsavannas) January 14, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Perry Hodge, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.