On January 8, an off-duty police sergeant from Chilhowie was charged with driving under the influence after a head-on collision with a truck while driving in the wrong lane across a bridge, according to police.
Two years ago, the same officer, 34-year-old Sgt. David Conley Cullop, was honored after he saved the life of a Virginia State Trooper who was nearly killed by a drunk driver.
In the crash that led to Cullop’s arrest, no one was injured. He was also charged with refusal to submit to a breath test, according to a Virginia State Police spokesman. The accident took place on state Route 107 at approximately 6:30 p.m.
The Chilhowie Police Department initially responded to the scene, but called in State Police after it was determined that one of its own had been involved.
State Police Sgt. Michael Conroy said the 2007 Dodge Caliber Cullop was driving crossed the center line and struck a 2004 Ford Ranger as the vehicles met on a narrow bridge. Both were traveling along the curvy road at an estimated speed of 25 mph.
Cullop was hailed as a hero in February 2008 for saving the life of a state trooper that had been hit by a drunk driver. News reports say Cullop was the first to respond to the scene when a drunk driver hit the officer’s cruiser, which had been parked on the shoulder of Interstate 81 during a traffic stop.
Cullop was able to pull the trooper, who was unresponsive and wedged in the wreckage, out of the vehicle and was able to get him breathing until EMS arrived.