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Police officer dragged by car dies from injuries

(AP) — A 24-year-old police officer in Virginia died after being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop, and the driver is facing charges that include felony homicide, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said Friday during an emotional news conference.

Katie Thyne was one of two police officers who were standing by the driver’s-side door of a vehicle when it accelerated forward and drove a block before slamming into a tree on Thursday evening, Drew said.

Drew said the driver’s side door was open, and the officers had just asked the driver to step out of the car.

“One officer was able to step out of the way, and she was not,” Drew said.

Drew said Thyne was pinned between the door and the tree. She was flown to a hospital in nearby Norfolk where she died from her injuries.

“Katie was a true hero,” said Drew, who took long pauses during the news conference to regain his composure.

“She had been here a short time with us, but she made a big impact on this department,” the chief said. “She was just full of life. She was always smiling. Always.”

Drew identified the driver as Vernon Green II. He said that Green’s vehicle was pulled over because the officers were investigating a drug complaint. He said they had smelled a strong odor from the car.

The chief said Green was arrested after short foot chase. Besides the felony homicide charge, Drew said Green faces charges of eluding police and possessing narcotics.

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