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Suspect identified in fatal hit-and-run

15 January 2020 Winchester Frederick County News


Virginia State Police has identified an individual involved in the fatal hit-and-run of a bicyclist in Frederick County over the weekend. Christofer A. Valeriano-Lanza, 20, of Winchester, is wanted on one felony count of duty to report an accident involving injury or death. State police is encouraging anyone with information concerning Valeriano-Lanza’s whereabouts and/or details about the crash to please contact Virginia State Police Trooper J. Myers at 540-662-3313.

The fatal hit-and-run crash occurred Jan. 11, at 1:41 a.m. on Route 7 (Berryville Pike) at 1 tenth of a mile west of Regency Lakes Drive.

A 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer was traveling east on Rte. 7 when the driver lost control, ran off the left side of the roadway, over corrected, ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a guardrail, and struck a bicyclist. The bicyclist was traveling east on Rte. 7 when he was struck from behind by the Mitsubishi.   

The bicyclist, Mark W. Smith, 49, of Winchester, Va., died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Valeriano-Lanza fled the scene of the crash on foot before law enforcement arrived. State police is investigating the possibility of there having been two individuals in the Mitsubishi who fled the scene following the crash.

Speed and alcohol are both considered factors in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

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