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Police Identify Suspect In Hit-And-Run That Killed Bicyclist

Patch logo Patch 1/14/2020 Mark Hand
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WINCHESTER, VA — The Virginia State Police has identified an individual believed to be involved in a fatal hit-and-run of a bicyclist on Route 7 just east of Winchester early Saturday morning. Christofer A. Valeriano-Lanza, 20, of Winchester, is wanted on one felony count of duty to report an accident involving injury or death, the state police said Tuesday.

The crash occurred at 1:41 a.m. Saturday on Route 7, a short distance west of Route 991. A 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer was traveling east on Route 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 Mitsubishi then ran off the left side of the roadway, collided with a ditch and overturned.

The bicyclist was traveling east on Route 7 when it was struck from behind by the Mitsubishi. The bicyclist, Mark W. Smith, 49, of Winchester, died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Valeriano-Lanza allegedly fled the scene of the crash on foot before law enforcement arrived. The state police is investigating the possibility of another individual in the Mitsubishi who fled the scene with Valeriano-Lanza following the crash.

According to the police, speed and alcohol are both considered factors in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

The Virginia State police is encouraging anyone with information concerning Valeriano-Lanza's whereabouts and details about the crash to contact Virginia State Police Trooper J. Myers at 540-662-3313 or by email at area13@vsp.virginia.gov.

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