02 September 2014
The state trooper who investigated the Aug. 12 rear -end crash involving Fluvanna County Deputy Karen Chambers said he didn’t charge the deputy because she might be punished by the sheriff’s office.
Trooper Justin Ruhlman drew a distinction between a “normal citizen” and a law enforcement agent in an interview with the Fluvanna Review. “With law enforcement agencies, they’ll do their own internal investigation and decide whether or not she’ll be disciplined and have to go through driving school and things like that, whereas a normal citizen doesn’t have that. So if I were to charge her it would be like double jeopardy.”
Chambers’ patrol car rear-ended another car. No one was injured.
Virginia State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said, in an email to the Fluvanna Review that, “a trooper is authorized to warn, summons or arrest. A trooper’s decision to (warn, summons or arrest) is based on the crash investigation, witness statements, statements provided by those involved, extent of injuries, damage to vehicles, causative factors, road conditions, weather conditions, etc. Our troopers take investigations very seriously and this crash was handled just like any other crash investigation. The sheriff requested state police to investigate the crash in order to provide an independent and objective handling of the matter.”