Pulaski County, VA – A roadside memorial marking the location where a Pulaski County Sheriff’s sergeant died in a two-vehicle collision was intentionally destroyed by a drive-by vandal over the weekend, according to investigators.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Sergeant Perry Hodge, 49, was traveling along Route 11 in his 1998 Ford F150 pickup just before 4 a.m. on Jan. 14, when the driver of a southbound 2011 Chevrolet 1500 crossed over the centerline and slammed into his pickup head-on, WSLS reported at the time.
Sgt. Hodge, a 15-year veteran of PCSO, died from his injuries at the scene, WDBJ reported.
A makeshift memorial comprised of flowers and flags was set up in his honor on Route 211 in the wake of his death, according to WDBJ.
But investigators said that sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone “took it upon themselves to heartlessly destroy the roadside memorial that was set up in honor of our recently lost brother,” WDBJ reported.
“To whoever did this, let me explain a few things to you,” the department said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Perry Hodge was one of the absolute best people to ever walk this planet. What he stood for while he walked among us is something that you will never understand, but that does not mean you have to try to besmirch his memory.”
“Perry had a spirit of service to his fellow human beings that you and a thousand like you will never be able to extinguish, and that spirit will ALWAYS live on in the men and women of Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office,” the agency concluded.
The Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office later identified the suspect as John Logan Davidson.
Davidson has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, destruction of property, and reckless driving, WDBJ reported.
Members of the community have already restored the roadside memorial.
The suspect who crashed into Sgt. Hodge on Jan. 14 has been identified as 26-year-old Michael Dominic Morris, The Roanoke Times reported.
Morris has been charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, felony murder, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and reckless driving after having his driver’s license suspended in an incident that caused a death.