BRODNAX, Va. (WRIC) — The police chief with the town of Brodnax — on the border of Mecklenburg and Brunswick County — has reportedly died after being struck by a pickup truck on U.S. Route 58.

Brodnax Police Chief Joe Carey had reportedly pulled over to the right side of the road in the 200 block of Piney Pond Road on Route 58 to recover the remains of an animal that had been struck by a vehicle, according to Virginia State Police.

Police said Carey was returning to the side of the highway when he was hit by an eastbound Ford F-150 pickup truck unable to avoid him. Carey was transported to Community Memorial Hospital – VCU Health in South Hill where he died from his injuries.

According to police, Carey’s police vehicle lights were activated while it was parked on the side of the highway. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured and the crash remains under investigation.

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.

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

“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.

“This man would always put a smile on your face,” a statement from Lawrenceville Fire reads. “Always putting his hand out to anyone in need! You will truly be missed!”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a statement on Saturday morning:

The Commonwealth has lost a law enforcement hero, who was dedicated to his community, profession, & his family. Brodnax Police Chief Joe Carey will be missed by all who knew & loved him. Suzanne & I are praying for the Brodnax community & his family during this difficult time.

According to VDOT, all east and westbound lanes of U.S. Route 58 near the intersection of Piney Pond Road were closed in Mecklenburg County due to a crash.