Virginia State Police search for man wanted in deadly hit-and-run crash

Virginia State Police search for man wanted in deadly hit-and-run crash
Christofer A. Valeriano-Lanza (Source: Virginia State Police)

FREDERICK COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist in Federick County.

The crash happened on Jan. 11, at 1:41 a.m. on Route 7

Police are searching for Christofer A. Valeriano-Lanza, 20, of Winchester, who is wanted on one felony count of duty to report an accident involving injury or death.

A 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer was traveling east on Rt. 7 when the driver lost control, ran off the left side of the roadway, overcorrected, 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 Rt. 7 when it was struck from behind by the Mitsubishi.

The bicyclist, Mark W. Smith, 49, of Winchester, Va., died at the scene as a result of his injuries. Smith was not wearing a helmet.

Troopers said Valeriano-Lanza ran away from the scene on foot. Police are also looking into the possibility of there having been two people in the Mitsubishi who left the scene.

Police believe that speed and alcohol are both considered factors in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

VSP’s Division 2 Accident Reconstruction Team, VSP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation. Frederick County Fire and Rescue and Virginia Department of Transportation assisted with the scene.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Virginia State Trooper J. Myers at 540-662-3313 or email area13@vsp.virginia.gov.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.