Woman Found Dead In Albemarle County Creek

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

April 5, 2005

As police tried to sort out the details, crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation worked to fill a gaping hole along Fox Mountain Road. It was around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5, in a creek under Fox Mountain Road that witnesses found a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer flipped upside down. The body of the 72-year-old female driver was still inside.

"It went over the right side of the roadway first, into the culvert, into the ditch, and that's where the vehicle overturned and it was probably a seven or eight foot drop," said Cpl. Glenn Fink, of Albemarle Police.

Police believed the woman left her home shortly after nine o'clock Monday evening, April 4. They're not sure how long she laid submerged in the water before being found Tuesday morning.

Residents in the area have been complaining about the dangers of this road for years. They said it was only a matter of time before something tragic happened.

"We called the local [office] right down here in Free Union, we've called the state offices, and all they did was put up a couple of cones which ended up falling over into the creek. They never did anything about it," said Pam Jessee, a neighbor.

As a temporary fix, VDOT poured rocks into the creek to fill in the narrow washed out road. Plans to eventually widen it are a possibility, but for neighbors who travel the road daily, the repairs are long overdue.

"It's a little late to fix it now. It's somebody's life, it's very upsetting," said Jessee.

The victim has been identified as Sarah Parrot Gwaltney of Albemarle County. Police are still investigating how she died.

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