GALAX, Va. – A Galax police officer was airlifted to Roanoke Tuesday night after a three-car crash, according to Virginia State Police.
Authorities say the crash happened in Galax around 5:45 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Grayson streets.
The officer was going south on Main Street while responding to an emergency call, according to state police. Police say lights and sirens on his cruiser, a 2019 Dodge Charger, were on.
As the cruiser got closer to the intersection, the stoplight turned green and the cruiser entered the intersection, according to authorities. A 2008 Ford Focus going west on Grayson Street entered the intersection and hit the driver's side of the cruiser.
Authorities say the impact from the crash caused the cruiser to spin around and hit a 2009 Honda Civic that was stopped at a red light facing north on Main Street.
The cruiser then went off the road and hit a tree, according to state police. The officer, 47-year-old Jason G. Hawks, was then flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Authorities say he was wearing his seatbelt.
State police say the stoplight at this particular intersection is supposed to change green for approaching emergency responders with lights activated. Witnesses told state police the cruiser was not driving at a high speed when going through the intersection, and further investigation revealed that it was going approximately 31 mph in a posted 25 mph zone.
Neither of the two other drivers were hurt in the crash, according to authorities. Both were reportedly wearing seatbelts.
State police identified the driver of the Ford Focus as 55-year-old Galax resident Tracy T. Owens and the driver of the Honda Civic as 61-year-old Cana resident Debra M. Goad.
The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending, according to state police.