HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The man killed in a head-on crash in Henrico County earlier this month is the brother of Roscoe Cooper III, the county’s School Board Chair. The Cooper family is mourning the loss of their loved one while honoring and maintaining the legacy he leaves behind.
The horrific crash happened exactly two weeks ago and according to Henrico Police, the driver was under the influence at the time of the crash.
That hot summer day, Roscoe Cooper Jr. lost a son and Roscoe Cooper III lost a brother.
“My father called crying in a voice I’d never heard before,” Roscoe III explained. “He said please come home now. I see my father come out of the house with two police officers flanking him and the first words he says in tears is Chad is dead.”
The father and son told 8News that Chadwick Cooper loved helping others and working with his hands. Roscoe III said his brother had a passion for cars and worked as an auto-mechanic.
“He was heading to the garage that’s off of Caroline Avenue to work on the car,” Roscoe III said. “He was going to do that in which he loved and in the process, he lost his life.”
Shortly after 1 p.m., Chadwick was driving on Carolina Avenue, on his way to put an engine in a classic car he was working on. A white Ford Sedan crossed the double yellow lines and slammed into Chadwick’s car head-on. The 30-year-old died from his injuries on the scene.
“Disbelief, shock, and anger,” Roscoe III shared. “He would’ve been alive had this individual not done what he did.”
Austin Daniel, of Hanover, was identified as the man behind the wheel of the white Ford Sedan. Henrico Police say he was driving under the influence. The 26-year-old was charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance, but this incident isn’t his first run-in with the law. According to online court records, Daniel has drug charges dating back to 2014 in Hanover.
Serving as Henrico’s School Board Chair, Roscoe III and his father, Roscoe Jr., have dedicated their lives to ministry. Roscoe Jr. has been a pastor in Richmond’s southside for more than 40 years and Roscoe III currently preaches at Rising Mount Zion Baptist in Henrico.
“The shock of coming home and having police come and ask if Chad Cooper lives here and coming inside and saying your son is dead is just shocking,” Roscoe Jr. shared. “Our hurts, and our sorrows and our tragedies–they bring us together.”
Roscoe Jr. went on to say that he and his wife adopted Chadwick when he was an infant and he will be truly missed. Together, the Cooper family is leaning on and leading by faith.
“We’ve been able to deal with it by making use of the sources of our faith, which are God, prayer, the community and worship,” Roscoe Jr. told 8News. “There will be resurrection, there will be reunion and there will be rejoicing.”
Roscoe III shared that it has been a rough two weeks, but he is thankful for the tools to navigate his faith, for the community, and to be able to honor his brother’s legacy. He said last week Virginia Delegate Jeff Bourne entered a resolution on the House floor to celebrate and acknowledge Chadwick’s life.
Daniel remains behind bars and has a bond hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.