Culpeper man charged in four-car crash

A 40-year-old Culpeper man faces DUI and hit-and-run charges after police said he caused and then fled a four-vehicle wreck on U.S. 522 in Scrabble on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 11).

Police said a pickup truck rear-ended a PT Cruiser heading north on U.S. 522 Saturday afternoon in Scrabble, driving it into the path of a southbound GMC Yukon, which ended up in the brush.Courtesy photo
Police said a pickup truck rear-ended a PT Cruiser heading north on U.S. 522 Saturday afternoon in Scrabble, driving it into the path of a southbound GMC Yukon, which ended up in the brush.

Shortly after the 4 p.m. crash in the 4900 block of Sperryville Pike, said Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. F. L. Tyler, Robert Conrad Butler was arrested near the Sperryville Corner Store and charged with driving under the influence, refusal to take a blood or breath test, and two counts of felony hit-and-run.

Tyler said Butler’s 1994 Chevy pickup ran into the back of a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser being driven north by Robin Sue Burke, 53, of Woodville. The impact sent Burke’s car into the southbound lanes and into the path of an oncoming 2009 GMC Yukon driven by 59-year-old Ezekiel Walton of Chesterfield. Butler’s pickup then struck the rear of the northbound vehicle in front of Burke, a camper driven by Cynthia Ann Panz, 56, of Poquoson, and then sped northward. (Authorities credited Panz and her husband, both retired law enforcement officers, with getting the pickup’s license and description.)

Police said a pickup truck rear-ended a PT Cruiser heading north on U.S. 522 Saturday afternoon in Scrabble, driving it into the path of a southbound GMC Yukon, which ended up in the brush.Courtesy photo
Police said a pickup truck rear-ended a PT Cruiser heading north on U.S. 522 Saturday afternoon in Scrabble, driving it into the path of a southbound GMC Yukon, which ended up in the brush.

Burke, the wife of Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department chief Richie Burke (who was the first emergency responder to arrive at the accident scene), was flown to Inova Fairfax hospital by medivac helicopter; her injuries were later described as serious but not life-threatening. Walton and his passengers, 69-year-old Ernest Fortune and 51-year-old Diedre Walton, were transported to Culpeper Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident is under investigation by Trooper Paul Domingoes. Tyler said the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s deputies and other troopers assisted in apprehending Butler, who Tyler said was released on secured bond Sunday. In addition to SVFD, Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad, Washington and Castleton volunteer fire and rescue squads responded to the scene.

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Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 534 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.