Home Fairfax County: Driver sought after striking, killing highway employee in work zone

Fairfax County: Driver sought after striking, killing highway employee in work zone

Crystal Graham
(© fotosr52 – stock.adobe.com)

Two accidents back to back have left a Culpeper highway employee dead, and the driver in the hit-and-run remains at large.

The first crash occurred on I-66 in Fairfax County on Thursday morning at 12:58 a.m. A Honda Accord and Ford Taurus collided in the eastbound lanes. The driver of the Ford Taurus fled the scene on foot after the accident.

Virginia State Police are still working to locate the driver.

The driver of the Honda Accord suffered minor injuries and was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The crash occurred in an active highway work zone. One of the workers witnessed the crash – and went to try to help the drivers.

While checking on the driver of the Honda, a maroon vehicle drove through the work zone at a high rate of speed and struck the worker. The vehicle then fled the scene.

The worker, Jonathan Franzell, 32, of Culpeper, did not survive his injuries and died at the scene.

Debris from the maroon vehicle was collected, and state police has determined the striking vehicle was likely a 2013-2015 maroon/burgundy Chevrolet Malibu. The Malibu will be missing its driver’s side mirror and have substantial damage to the front driver’s side.

Anyone who may have seen the crash or has any information about the maroon Chevrolet Malibu is asked to call the Virginia State Police at (703) 803-0026 or email to [email protected].

The Virginia State Police Fairfax Division crash reconstruction team is assisting with the ongoing crash investigation.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.