Family mourns loss of Varina army reservist, calls for changes - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Family mourns loss of Varina army reservist, calls for changes on Route 5

VARINA, VA (WWBT) -

Family and friends held a special tribute and candlelight vigil for a Varina High graduate and army reservist killed in a Monday morning crash along Route 5.

Crowds packed the Varina High stadium to remember a loved one, and to also call for change along what they call a dangerous stretch of road.

"I just want to say that I love you," said Ashley Stanley with tears in her eyes. "It's probably the hardest thing I've ever dealt with.

Rodney Roane, Jr. was driving home about having worked at 7pm to 7am shift.

"Me personally," said Nicholas Jones. "I feel like I failed him as an older brother because we protected each other growing up."

Jones wore his brother's jersey and still can't believe he was just five minutes away from home when police say Roane's SUV crossed over the center line on New Market Road and crashed into an oncoming school bus.

"I wish I could have done something for him," said Jones. "I wish I could have been on the phone. I wish I could have been the one there to be quite honest with you. "

Vigil attendees walked the Varina High track to remember their friend and loved one. They also called for change along Route 5 in the wake of Roane's death.

"And we are going to get some stuff changed," said the team chaplain who suggested starting a petition. "To lower the speed limit and to put some stop signs up."

They hope the changes will prevent another Blue Devil, son, brother, and uncle from losing his life on a lonely stretch of road.

"It's not the easiest pill to swallow when you lose somebody that close to you," said family friend Kiara Leabough.

Crash team Investigators say the crash is still under investigation. They are asking if anyone has information about the crash to please call 501-5000 and leave their name and number for an investigator to call them back. 

The funeral is Saturday at 11am. It will be held at St. Paul's Baptist Church.

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