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Benefit ‘bike run’ to aid injured VSP trooper

Wes Bunch • May 31, 2013 at 8:44 AM

WEBER CITY — The rumble of engines will echo through the hills of Scott County this Sunday afternoon as motorcyclists ride to benefit the family of a Virginia State Police trooper who was seriously injured in the line of duty.

The benefit “bike run” is set to begin at 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Gate City High School/Middle School Complex.

All proceeds raised will be used to defray the cost of medical expenses for VSP Trooper James C. Lawson, who is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for spinal cord injuries he sustained during an April 9 high-speed pursuit through Scott County.

Weber City Police Chief Phillip Lane, who helped organize the event with Lt. Jim Benton of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Tony Smith, said anyone with a motorcycle, or vehicle, can participate in the ride.

Food donated by the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Kingsport will be served at the end of the ride, Lane said.

Both the food and ride are free, although Lane said donations in any amount would be appreciated.

“What we’ve decided to do on this one as far as the cost to participate is any donation they want to give,” Lane said. “If they want to give $1, they can give $1. If they want to give $10 or $20, whatever they want to give, and when we get ready to eat we’ll tell them if they want to give a donation for that too it’s fine, because it will all go to Trooper Lawson and his family.”

Lane said the route will consist of a scenic drive through Scott County to Dungannon before returning to Gate City.

During the ride, Lane said participants will make brief stops, where they will have chances to draw tickets and win several door prizes donated by local businesses.

The ride will be escorted by a Virginia State Police cruiser, Lane said.

The Tennessee Chapter VI of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club will also assist with the event.

Lane said the club has agreed to donate $500 to assist Lawson and his family.

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