Facebook post helps catch suspects involved in hit-and-run with state trooper

Driver, two passengers charged


Dashcam video shows the potentially life-threatening encounter between a Virginia State Police trooper in Botetourt County and a pick up truck Friday night. The trooper was parked on the side of Route 11 responding to a call about a car hitting a bear.

“The trooper jumped up in the door jam (of his car) and the truck struck the vehicle and the trooper,” Virginia State Police Sgt. Rick Garletts said.

After state police released the dashcam video, someone called and said they recognized the truck from a Facebook post.

“The owner (of the truck) was selling the wheels and tires," Garletts said. "With the information we got from the social media, we were able to locate the vehicle and the driver.”

Hunter Ruley, 20, has been charged with felony hit and run.

The Facebook post about the wheels and tires was made on his Facebook page less than three hours after the hit and run.

After some research of trucks online, troopers arrested Ruley at a house in Rockbridge County Monday and seized the truck.

“From what I understand, the troopers knocked on the door to try to talk to somebody at that residence and there was no answer. The truck was seized at that point. Once the wrecker showed up, to take the truck, the driver did come out of the house," said Garletts.

State police say Ruley has confessed, but what, exactly, he said, state police would not disclose Thursday because the case had not been prosecuted.

Thursday evening, Garletts confirmed two passengers in the truck have been charged with failing to report a crash, but Garletts did not know their names.

The trooper is expected to be okay, but will likely be out of work until after the first of the year.


Virginia State Police arrested a man in connection with a hit-and-run crash involving a state trooper.

Hunter Ruley, 20, of Lexington, was arrested for a felony hit-and-run charge after allegedly hitting a state trooper and driving away on Dec. 20 in Botetourt County.

The crash happened on Route 11 just before 10 p.m. Trooper R.E. Tackett was investigating a crash that involved a vehicle and a bear, when a 2004 Chevy pickup truck hit him, according to Virginia State Police.

Investigators say they used the video system in Tackett’s vehicle to get a description of the truck that hit him.

Shortly after the crash, Ruley posted on social media that he was selling wheels and tires from a 2004 Chevy. Investigators used the photos and information to locate the truck in Rockbridge County, according to Virginia State Police.

Troopers arrested Ruley and seized the truck in Rockbridge County.

Ruley was taken to Rockbridge County Jail but was later released on bond.

The crash is still under investigation.

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