Public Safety

  • Wreck on Peaks Mountain Road results in unknown injuries, authorities say

    A single-vehicle motorcycle wreck on Peaks Mountain Road left the driver with unknown injuries, according to the Virginia State Trooper C.M. Delp.
    A 2000 Harley-Davidson driven by James Paul Leprad Jr., 56, of Galax, was traveling on Peaks Mountain Road when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer, Delp said. Leprad was flung from the bike and landed beside the road next to a barbed-wire fence.
    He was transported by Baywood Rescue with unknown injuries, said Delp.

  • Passenger flees scene of wreck

    One passenger fled the scene of a single-vehicle accident last week on Delhart Road and two others were transported for treatment of minor injuries, according to Virginia State Trooper P.K. Cheek.
    A 2008 Ford Edge driven by Sandra Villegas, 38, of Sparta, N.C., was traveling south on Delhart in Grayson County when Villegas’s daughter, Sandra Mendez, 19, of Raleigh, N.C., who was in the front passenger seat, allegedly reached over and yanked the steering wheel, causing the Ford to leave the road and crash into an embankment on the right shoulder.

  • Independence Fire Department receives $180,000 grant

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) will receive $180,381 in federal funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
    According to a news release from the offices of U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va), the IVFD was one of several fire departments in the Commonwealth that received funding from the AFG program. Awards for all departments from the grant together totaled $693,533.

  • Brandished post during road rage incident spurs lockdowns

    INDEPENDENCE — A road rage incident in Independence on Wednesday morning prompted a lockdown of several schools in the Grayson County Public School system and the Nautilus plant, after a man reportedly brandished what appeared to be a firearm during an argument with a tractor-trailer driver.
    According to Independence Police Chief James Wagoner, officers received a call at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday regarding a “road rage” incident between Edward C. Foster, 32, of Canada, and Timothy C. Vaughan, 19, of Fries.

  • Road rage incident in Independence prompts school lockdown

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County schools are on a lockdown this morning as a precaution, after a “road rage” incident in Independence that involved the brandishing of a weapon.
    According to Independence Police Chief James Wagoner and the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, police are in pursuit of suspects driving a teal four-door Toyota with Virginia license number AER4532. The occupants are described as three white males.

  • Man drowns in New River near Fries


    FRIES – A North Carolina man drowned in the New River near Fries on Saturday during a family floating trip.
    According to a news release from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, dispatch received a call at 6:20 p.m. of a possible drowning on the New River on July 23. The incident occurred just above the low water bridge in Fries.

  • Scams grow like weeds in spring, BBB warns

    As bright springtime flowers bloom, so do new dark, weed-like scams. Scammers will be going door-to-door with plans to rip off local residents for services from discounted food deliveries to repairing weather damaged shingles. The Better Business Bureau serving Metro Washington DC and Eastern PA (BBB) advises consumers that now is the time to be on your guard.

    Door-to-Door Meat Selling Scams:

  • U.S. 58 wreck results in minor injuries

    A two-vehicle crash at approximately 8:40 a.m. April 26 at the intersection of Bee Line Drive and U.S. 58 left one overturned and minor injuries, according to Virginia State Trooper S.M. Cochran.
    Anna Lee Zyss Hill, 56, of Fries, driving a 1996 Ford Ranger, was pulling off of Bee Line Drive onto 58 eastbound when she struck a 2006 Honda Pilot, driven by Susan Lee Whitaker, 33 of Fancy Gap. Whitaker’s vehicle flipped over onto its side and then rolled over onto its top.

  • Law reinforcement

    INDEPENDENCE — During an evening shift in June 2012, Sgt. Doug Waller — at that time a deputy — and fellow deputy Kevin Watson of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office answered a domestic disturbance call, at a residence Waller had visited multiple times in the past.

  • Local attacks renew debate over pit bulls

    Recent pit bull attacks in the Twin Counties and elsewhere have sparked a fierce debate about whether the fault lies in the dogs’ owners or in a genetic predisposition to violence.
    In January, 15-month-old Payton Lyrik Sawyers died after she was attacked by a dog while in the care of babysitters. The dog’s owner said he was awakened by screams to find his pit bull/rottweiler mix, E.J., with the child’s head in its mouth. The owner was bitten in the face while trying to intervene in the attack.