A roadside memorial of flowers and a cross went up Tuesday morning at the busy intersection of Va. 28 and Piper Lane, where Prince William County police Officer Chris Yung lost his life in a fiery crash Monday afternoon.
Outside the department’s two police stations, cruisers shrouded in black honor the seven-year veteran of the police force.
Yung was responding to a car crash at Fauquier Drive at Reid Lane about 2 p.m. Monday. As he passed southbound through the intersection of Va. 28 and Piper, on a green light and with lights and siren activated, a 2001 minivan driven by a 69-year-old Gainesville woman turned left toward the shopping center into his path, police said.
The van and motorcycle caught fire after impact. Two off-duty Fairfax County firefighters and two witnesses pulled the officer from the flames and began CPR, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. Yung was taken to Prince William Hospital, where he died.
The van's driver and passenger were not injured. No charges had been filed Tuesday afternoon.
Yung, a 35-year-old father of three young children, is being remembered for his contagious smile and love of his job. He loved it so much, he inspired his wife Robin and brother Dale to also become Prince William police officers. His sister-in-law, too, is a county officer.
Yung was also a Marine who served a tour in Iraq before coming home and joining the police force.
“Your heart was big and all you wanted to do is help people and make a difference which you did. You always put others before you. You had a smile that could light up a room and can never be forgotten,” his brother wrote on the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Even some who encountered the officer while breaking the law commented on how much they liked Yung.
“…I talked to this guy for an hour when I got pulled over on my motorcycle,” one posted on InsideNoVa’s Facebook page. “He was a really cool dude this is really sad to hear.”
Another woman, posting on the police department’s Facebook page, remembered her experience getting a speeding ticket from Yung in November.
“He was very professional and friendly. I drove away thinking not of my ticket (I deserved it) but of my experience with him and how friendly and relaxed he seemed- my thoughts & prayers! May he rest in peace.”
Prince William County police in a news release expressed appreciation for those who tried to save the officer, and other emergency agencies who rushed to the scene to help.
"The Prince William County police department would like to recognize the Virginia State Police, Prince William County Sheriff’s Office, Manassas City Police Department, and the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue for their assistance, and also the citizens who risked their own lives to help," the release said.