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Trooper killed in King George County crash in June had three previous accidents while on duty.
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By CATHY DYSON
The horrific accident in which Virginia State Police Trooper Adam Bowen was killed wasn't the first time he wrecked a patrol car.
While on duty, Bowen had three wrecks in a nine-month period from December 2008 through September 2009, according to police records.
After the third crash, which totaled his cruiser, he had to complete a driver retraining course through the Virginia State Police Academy.
The 28-year-old trooper, who grew up in Montross, died June 24 while responding to a call. He was on his way to help a state police agent with the narcotics task force.
Bowen was on State Route 3 in King George County, heading west toward Fredericksburg. When he entered the intersection of Route 3 and Madison Drive, his cruiser was struck by a car turning into the First Lady's Centre shopping area, across from Presidential Lakes subdivision.
Bowen's cruiser ricocheted into a traffic-light pole and was cut in half. The front section crashed into three cars in the shopping center parking lot, and the back half was wrapped around the pole.
Bowen died at the scene.
After the crash, questions surfaced about Bowen's speed. State police investigators haven't finished their report and probably won't until mid-July, Sgt. Thomas Molnar said this week.
He provided Bowen's driving records at the request of The Free Lance-Star. In the media release, Molnar said state police recognize that troopers operate their cruisers in a different manner than private vehicles.
But because of their experience and training, "they are held to a higher standard" than private citizens.
According to the police records, all three wrecks happened while Bowen was on duty on King George County roads. The trooper covered more than 117,000 miles during his three-year career, Molnar said.
Bowen was assigned to the rural county in July 2008 after graduating from the academy.
His first accident happened six months later.
On Dec. 26, 2008, Bowen was patrolling in King George when he struck a deer. He was not injured, and the damage to his vehicle was $1,127.