Fatal Hit & Run in Orange County

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

November 3, 2006

A husband went to help his wife with her broken down car and found her body in the road.

Police say a 27-year-old wife and mother, Justine Abshire of Barboursville, was killed when she was struck by a vehicle early this morning on Route 618 in Orange County. State police are investigating this as a fatal hit and run.

Police said the victim's silver mustang broke down on Taylorsville road a little after 1 a.m. According to neighbors she then called her husband for help.

“She had called him on the cell phone and said she was having car problems and he came to help her,” said neighbor Aubrey Collier.

The victim’s husband arrived about 20 minutes later to find his wife in the middle of the road, several hundred feet from her car; apparently she was struck by another driver.

"The person that was operating the vehicle that struck Mrs. Abshire left the scene," said VA State police Sgt. F. L. Tyler.

The husband ran to a nearby home to call 911. Police would not say how her body ended up so far away from her car.

“To my understanding where she was hit at is 500 to 600 feet up the highway from where her car was parked,” said Collier.

Neighbors we talked to were shocked to hear this happened on an otherwise quiet street.

“Hit and run, nobody should do that. I don't know whether the cops got any evidence but they were out there for six hours. I hope they have some kind of evidence and find out who did it.

The victim was an elementary school teacher in Culpeper. The principal at Emerald Hill released this statement:

"Justine was an excellent teacher and absolutely loved by her students. She had a gentle and soft approach that worked well with kindergarten students. Justine had natural skills as a teacher and was working toward becoming even better by working on her Masters degree in reading. This is a tremendous loss for our school and she will truly be missed."

If you have any information that could help in the investigation you're asked to call state police at 800-572-2260.

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