Winston-Salem Officer Dies in Vehicle Accident

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Winston-Salem police say a 28-year-old officer died after he lost control of his patrol car and crashed into trees.

Authorities say Officer Russell Willingham crashed about 3:15 a.m. Saturday and was killed.

Police Chief Scott Cunningham says Willingham was driving to help a fellow officer who was following a possible drunken driver, but he never made it there. His car went off the road and down an embankment.

Willingham was trapped inside his car and radioed for help, but when emergency responders arrived, the car was engulfed in flames. He died at the scene.

Willingham joined the police department in August 2009. Before that, he worked in the Greensboro police department for two years.

Flags have been lowered to half-staff at the police station.

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