He died doing the same thing.
Mooney, 24, a Stafford County sheriff’s deputy, was killed late Friday in a single-vehicle accident that occurred as he was responding to another serious accident on Interstate 95 in Stafford.
According to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy, Mooney was following an ambulance when he lost control of his cruiser about 9:25 p.m. and veered off the road. A police escort rushed Mooney to Mary Washington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead later that night.
“The Stafford Sheriff’s Office has suffered a great loss,” Sheriff Charles Jett said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his fiance and his many friends. His passing will leave a void in our hearts and his absence will be felt by the entire community.”
The accident occurred in the southbound lanes about a mile north of the Stafford Courthouse exit. Rescue workers performed CPR after freeing Mooney from the wreckage, and deputies blocked intersections to allow unimpeded travel to the hospital, but it was not enough to save Mooney. It was not clear yesterday what caused the deputy to lose control; the accident remains under investigation.
A native of Binghamton, N.Y., Mooney was a 2002 graduate of Colonial Forge High School, where he played football and baseball and was in the band.
Mooney was a member of the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department’s Company 2, and he had also volunteered as a firefighter in Prince William County.
Mooney served six months in Al-asad, Iraq, with the Marine Corps and worked as a supply administration and operations clerk for the 4th Marine Division. He received a number of honors, and also served as a Marine reservist. He joined the Sheriff’s Office in March 2006.
Deputies, rescue service personnel and the general public gathered at various locations yesterday to mourn Mooney’s passing.
“He will be greatly missed by a lot of people,” said Lt. Kimberly Harper, spokeswoman for the Stafford Fire and Rescue Department.
Mooney is the first Stafford deputy to die in the line of duty since Oct. 9, 1980, when Deputy Ford T. “Toby” Humphrey was shot to death by a former classmate while responding to a domestic dispute. Before Humphrey, the last death involving an on-duty Stafford deputy occurred in 1921.
The first deputy on the scene in the 1980 incident involving Humphrey was Jett, who at the time was a 21-year-old rookie deputy. Humphrey had responded to back up Jett.
Mooney is survived by his parents, Ed and Mary Mooney, two sisters and a brother.
A Mass of celebration will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Fredericksburg. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery in Fredericksburg.
Members of the Stafford Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will be pallbearers. Members of the Stafford Fire Department will be honorary pallbearers.
Covenant Funeral Service is handling the arrangements.