VSP charge a dump-truck driver in Clarke County crash

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email that they are investigating a two-vehicle crash in Clarke County that severely injured a motorcyclist.

On May 13 at 11 a.m. a Kenworth dump-truck traveling south on Route 679 stopped properly at the stop sign at the intersection of Route 7.

As the truck proceeded to cross over the westbound lanes of Route 7, it collided with a westbound Honda motorcycle.

The driver of the motorcycle an unidentified male from Berryville suffered life-threatening injuries.

The 23-year-old male was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital for treatment with no word on his condition at this time.

The driver of the dump-truck Don Robinson of Gore Virginia was wearing his seatbelt and was left uninjured in the crash.

The 61-year-old Robinson has been charged with reckless driving.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

State Police investigating fatal crash involving bicyclist

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police are investigating a crash that killed a 53-year-old bicyclist Wednesday in Shenandoah County.

Rex A. Catt, of Edinburg, was riding his bicycle eastbound and trying to cross Old Valley Pike at the intersection with Maple Lane, according to a news release from State Police Public Information Officer Brent Coffey. That’s when he was struck by a southbound 2004 Kia Seltos driven by a 74-year-old New Market woman. Coffey did not identify the driver by name.

Coffey said the driver could not avoid the bicyclist and immediately stopped at the scene after striking him.

Both the driver and Catt were transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment. Catt, who was not wearing a helmet, died en route to the hospital. The driver was wearing a seat belt and received minor injuries, Coffey said.

The crash remains under investigation.

VSP report a chase and arrest of a naked Illinois man

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email a chase and arrest of an Chicago Illinois man along Interstate 81 May 4 that ended in Frederick County.

Marco Cruz-Monroy was observed by a State Trooper driving recklessly in his black Dodge ram truck at approximately mile marker 304 heading north.

Cruz-Monroy ignored the attempt at a traffic stop and sped away hitting speeds of up to and over 100 miles an hour.

At one point Cruz-Monroy intentionally rear-ended  a State Police cruiser forcing it off the road.

As Cruz-Monroy continued northbound he began to disrobe and throw his clothes out of the truck window.

Cruz-Monroy struck a civilian vehicle forcing it off the road at mile marker 315.

The truck took flight after the impact and landed in the median ending the pursuit.

Once stopped, law enforcement surrounded the truck with guns drawn.

Initially Cruz-Monroy barricaded himself inside the truck and refused to come out.

Still naked Cruz-Monroy eventually exited the truck and climbed into the bed of the Dodge and fell backwards after apparently being tased.

Officers picked him up and placed the 27-year-old into an ambulance for transport to Winchester Medical center.

While being evaluated Cruz-Monroy become combative and at one point bit and held on to the finger of a state trooper in his mouth.

Two Troopers were injured during the incident both having been treated at Winchester Medical Center and released.

No civilians were injured in the incident.

Cuz-Monroy is now facing charges of eluding, driving while intoxicated, and assault on an officer with additional charges pending.

He is being held without bond at the Northwest Adult Detention Center.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Speed considered a factor in fatal Fauquier crash

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police say speed is considered a factor in a fatal single-vehicle crash Wednesday in Fauquier County.

The crash happened at 11:05 a.m. on James Madison Highway, about half a mile south of Beach Road.

31-year-old Michael A.H. Sanson, of Orange, was driving southbound in a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox when the vehicle left the right side of the roadway and struck a mailbox, then a tree. Sanson and a passenger, 67-year-old Brenda M. Atkisson, also of Orange, died at the scene. Troopers said Atkisson was wearing a seat belt; Sanson was not.

The crash remains under investigation.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP begins traffic safety initiative

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

The Virginia State Police are beginning their traffic enforcement and safety initiative “Operation DISS-rupt” along the 325 miles of Interstate 81 through Virginia on Thursday and Friday.

The VSP will focus on:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving,
  • Speed compliance
  • Seat belt safety.

A similar effort was put into place on February 12th and 13th and led to 343 speeding citations.

Lt. Col. Matt Hanley, director of VSP Bureau of Field Operations said, “This spring we have continued to see dangerous driving behaviors on Virginia’s highways, and our goal is to “diss-rupt” them. We’re working to get Virginia back to the basics of traffic safety, which includes getting motorists to slow down, share the road and drive distraction free.”

So far this year, 225 Virginians have died on roadways.

The operation’s goal is to achieve zero fatal crashes during the enforcement period and reduce the total number of crashes on interstates in the calendar year by 10%.

Some driving behaviors highlighted in the announcement include:

  • ditching distractions by using hands free devices
  • utilizing proper seat belt safety
  • complying with speed limits
  • never driving while impaired

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP arrest a Baltimore man in a chase with stolen property

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the pursuit of  a Toyota after spotting it at mile marker 17 on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County April 14 with no inspection or brake lights.

The Toyota refused to stop and increased speeds up to 100 miles per hour fleeing into Prince William County.

Once in Prince William County the Toyota left 66 turning onto Route 234 where the driver ran several stop lights and drove erratically in and out of traffic and used shoulders of the road to escape pursuit.

The driver eventually took the Toyota back onto 66 East where he collided with a police cruiser which forced the vehicle into an eastbound Subaru which ended the chase.

After the stop the driver, Juntae E. Williams of Baltimore Maryland was taken into custody and was transported to Prince William Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

A pregnant passenger of the Toyota was also taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The 27-year-old Williams faces several charges including assault on a law officer and child endangerment due to the pregnant passenger who was not charged in the incident.

Additional charges are likely against Williams after further investigation revealed over a $1,000 in stolen merchandise in the Toyota.

Williams is currently being held without bond at Fauquier Adult Detention Center.

No other injuries were reported in the incident.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP place charges against driver in 6 vehicle crash

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the opening of an investigation of the April 7 Interstate 81 crash in Shenandoah County.

The incident began when a Nissan Frontier traveling north on Interstate 81 failed to slow down for heavy traffic at mile marker 284.

The Nissan rear-ended a Toyota Corolla that started a chain reaction crash that involved 6 vehicles including the Nissan and Toyota.

The driver of the Nissan Amos E. Stoltzfus of Pennsylvania and his female passenger suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The 25-year-old male driver of the Toyota from Edinburg suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was flown to UVA Medical Center.

Five other people suffered minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals.

The 73-year-old Stoltzfus has been charged with reckless driving in the initial investigation of the crash.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP make an arrest after fatal Frederick Co. Crash

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the arrest of Kenneth J. Bireta after a fatal accident in Frederick County.

VSP and Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a crash on Interstate 81 at mile marker 316 around 11 p.m. April 1.

A Toyota Highlander traveling north ran off the left side of the road into the median and overturned several times before entering the southbound lanes.

Once in the southbound lane the Toyota collided with a Nissan Rogue.

Bireta the driver of the Toyota from Knoxville Tennessee was transported to Winchester Medical Center suffering serious but non-life threating injuries.

The driver of the Nissan 60-year-old William F. Allison Jr. of Martinsburg died at the scene.

After his release from the hospital the 54-year-old Bireta was charged with one count of driving under the influence, and one count of possession of a schedule 1 2 drug.

Bireta is currently held in the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center without bond.

Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

Interstate 81 was shut down for more than 3 and a half hours during the preliminary investigation Monday night.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Man arrested; 123 pounds of pot confiscated

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

A New York state man was arrested after troopers found 123 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle during a Wednesday traffic stop, State Police said.

The traffic stop was initiated for speeding and following too closely on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County. During the stop at mile marker 246, the driver, Jun Yan of Fresh Meadows, N.Y., consented to a search of his Toyota Sienna.

During the search, Virginia State Police discovered 123 boxes containing vacuum sealed packages of marijuana.

The 45-year-old Yan faces charges of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute and transporting more than 5 pounds of the drug into the state. In all, 123 pounds of marijuana with a street value of over $500,000 was confiscated.

Yan has been transported to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Jail and is being held without bond.

VSP introduces “Pathway to Trooper” program

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

The Virginia State Police unveiled a new program designed to help young people accelerate their timeline to becoming a trooper.

The “Pathway to Trooper “program is designed for 18-20 year-olds to help them find employment while they wait to turn 21 by graduation from the Academy.

Through the program, young adults may join the State Police as an Emergency Dispatcher at one of seven locations.

The State Police will then reserve a spot in the Academy for that applicant once they become eligible.

The new program includes financial incentives:

  • $5,000 hiring bonus once becoming an Emergency Dispatcher
  • $5,000 retention bonus upon completion of basic training at the Academy
  • eligibility for a 10% salary increase upon completion of training.

The State Police are continuously hosting new Academy classes with the most recent group of 52 Troopers graduating in February.

To learn more about the program, click here

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