Virginia State Police are still trying to get leads to get to a next step in the investigation into an alleged Aug. 6 hit-and-run that left an Augusta County sheriff’s deputy injured.
The deputy, whose name still has not been released, was traveling northbound on I-81 near the 220 mile marker at 9:48 p.m. on Aug. 6 when his Ford Explorer was reportedly struck from behind by a tractor-trailer, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
The impact, according to the release, pushed the Ford Explorer approximately 100 feet down the interstate and into a VDOT work truck, striking the energy-absorbing bumper on the VDOT truck, and spinning the deputy’s cruiser around.
The release tells us that the driver of the tractor-trailer did not stop and fled on Interstate 81.
VDOT workers at the scene, according to the release, assisted the deputy, who was injured and unable to radio for help due to the damage to his patrol unit.
The deputy was transported to Augusta Health, where he was treated for his injuries, which were reportedly minor in nature.
There have been questions from local residents on social media about what the sheriff’s office reported in relation to the crash, with some speculating that there was no tractor-trailer involved – basically, that the deputy might have simply lost control of his vehicle, and concocted the story about a runaway tractor-trailer as cover.
Other questions raised in relation to the accident: why haven’t investigators looked at the VDOT traffic cameras to get specifics on the truck, if indeed a truck was involved; and, how is it possible that we’re more than a week having passed since the accident, and no one has come forward with information about a damaged truck showing up at a terminal, parked in someone’s driveway or being dropped off at a shop for repairs?
We reached out to the State Police to address these questions, and a VSP spokesperson got back to us on Thursday to tell us that, one, evidence collected at the scene and witness statements have led investigators to confirm that the accident indeed took place as the sheriff’s office originally reported, so, that should answer that one, the most important question.
Specifically, State Police are looking for information related to a tractor-trailer with a blue cab that has been identified as the hit-and-run vehicle.
Tips on vehicles matching that description with front-end damage can be called in to 434-352-7128 or emailed to [email protected].
Two, on the traffic cameras issue: VDOT cameras are only real-time cameras, and do not record, so they are not an aid in investigations.
(This might be something for the state to look into down the road.)
Three, on the lack of information from the public, it does seem to stand to reason that the driver could have tried to explain away the accident as having involved not hitting another car, but rather, say, a deer or a bear, and in those situations, an employer or insurance company wouldn’t be contacting police for an accident report.