Editor’s note: The headline was corrected to show that the police chief was from Virginia.

BRODNAX, V.A. (WNCN/WRIC) — Virginia State Police said the police chief for Brodnax, a town in Mecklenburg County, has died after being hit by a pickup truck Friday night.

State police said Brodnax Police Chief Joe Carey had pulled off to the right side of the road on the 200 block of Piney Pond Road and Route 58 to recover the remains of an animal that had been hit in the roadway.

As he came back to the side of the highway, a Ford F-150 pickup truck heading eastbound was unable to avoid hitting him, according to a news release from Virginia State Police.

The release said Chief Carey was taken to a hospital in South Hill, where he died from injuries.

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Brodnax Police Chief Joe Carey (Lawrenceville Fire Department)

According to investigators, the chief’s police lights were activated while his vehicle was parked on the side of the highway.

They said the driver of the pickup truck was not hurt.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, according to the investigation.

Virginia State Police continue to investigate.

The Mayor of Brodnax, Don Dugger, released the following statement:

This evening the Town of Brodnax lost a dedicated member of our community. It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the tragic death of Police Chief Joe Carey to a traffic crash on Route 58. Highly regarded for his public safety professionalism and experience, Joe was a genuine friend to so many of us. He truly loved his job and worked hard to make a difference while protecting and serving our town.

Chief Carey, 66, is survived by his wife, four sons, a daughter and several grandchildren. I ask that you keep his family and colleagues with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

Mayor Don Dugger

The Blackstone Volunteer Fire Department confirmed that Carey had been struck and killed while on duty.

The Lawrenceville Fire Department shared a statement as well:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brodnax Police Chief Joe Carey and his family. This man would always put a smile on your face. Always putting his hand out to anyone in need! You will truly be missed!

Lawrenceville Fire Department

“We are saddened to hear of the loss of our brother Officer Chief Joe Carey of the Broadnax Police Department in a tragic accident tonight,” a statement from Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office reads. “Our sincere condolences to the family and work family.”

The South Boston Police Department — based in neighboring Halifax County — released the following statement:

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Town of Brodnax Police Chief Joe Carey. Joe was no stranger to law enforcement officers around southern Virginia as he served his chosen badge for many decades. No matter the issue, Joe always offered his help and showed how much he cared for the people of his community. God Bless Chief Carey, the Town of Brodnax, and his family.