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2 Arrested in Fatal Hit and Run in Waynesboro

April 19, 2012

Waynesboro Police have arrested two suspects in connection with a fatal hit and run incident earlier this month.

It happened on April 9 along Stuarts Draft Highway at the intersection with Grandview Drive. Police found the body of Betty Marcelle Wheeler, 56, of Waynesboro, in the northbound lanes. The full story can be found here.

The official news release from the Waynesboro Police Department follows:

On April 17, 2012 Waynesboro Detectives contacted the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and requested assistance with pursuing additional leads in Rockingham County. A 2000 Ford F-150 matching the description provided by the anonymous tipster was subsequently located in the 2200 block of Tan Bark Drive in Rockingham County.

Probable cause was presented to the Magistrate, and a search warrant was obtained for the vehicle. The vehicle was then seized, transported back to Waynesboro, and processed for additional evidence.

Waynesboro Detectives, assisted by the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, continued to follow up on additional leads late into the evening on April 17th related to the occupants of the hit and run vehicle.

As a result of the investigation, a warrant was obtained and served on 27-year-old Juan M. Gonzalez-Vasquez of Harrisonburg for being a passenger of the vehicle and failing to report an accident which resulted in a person being killed or injured. This offense is a Class 6 Felony under VA. Code Section 46.2-895.

On April 18th detectives returned to Rockingham County to follow up on additional leads. As a result of their investigation, 21-year-old Victor A. Espinoza of Harrisonburg was charged for being the driver of the vehicle and failing to report an accident involving injury or death. This offense is a Class 5 Felony under VA. Code Section 46.2-894.

Juan M. Gonzalez-Vasquez is being held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail. Victor A. Espinoza is being held without bond at the Rockingham Regional Jail.

This investigation is continuing and additional charges may be forthcoming. Any additional questions should be directed to Captain Kelly Walker at 540-942-6537. Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to contact the Waynesboro Police Department at 540-942-6675 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-2017.


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