Passenger arrested during traffic stop that led to officer’s death appears in court

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The passenger arrested after last month’s traffic stop in Newport News where Police Officer Katie Thyne was killed, appeared in court Friday.

Ivy Runnels is charged with possession of marijuana. Authorities say Runnels was the passenger in the car Thyne and another officer pulled over on January 23 for suspicion of drug activity near Monitor Merrimac Overlook Park.

Vernon Green II was the driver. Police Chief Steve Drew said the officers had removed Runnels from the car, then went to address Green, when he took off. Officer Thyne was unable to get out of the way and the car dragged her for about a block.

Officer Thyne eventually got pinned between the car and a tree and she died from her injuries.

A celebration of life service was held in Newport News for Officer Thyne earlier this week.

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