Fatality on the mountain

An elderly Ashburn man reported missing by his family earlier in the day died Monday night after apparently losing control of a car he was driving down the mountain on U.S. 211 eastbound.

Though injured in the 9 p.m. crash, possibly suffering a broken hip, James Sheridan Forbes, 82, was reported to be conscious, aware of his name and told the two drivers who stopped to assist him that “I need a ride home.” He complained of pain in his leg.

When one of the drivers returned from fetching a blanket while another called 911, however, Forbes was unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead an hour later at Fauquier Hospital, said Virginia State Trooper Brandon Johnson.

Johnson said Sperryville Rescue Squad arrived no more than eight minutes after receiving the call.

“He was conscious, and then he wasn’t,” Johnson said of Forbes, who he said was suffering from Alzheimer’s. He was living with his son in Ashburn, Johnson said, where the family had hidden the car keys because he was not supposed to leave the house.

“Somehow he apparently got his hands on the keys for his son’s car. His son notified the authorities that he was missing in the morning Monday,” Johnson said.

The state Medical Examiner’s office will study lab reports to determine the exact cause of death, Johnson said.

Car is towed from the scene of an accident involving a Rappahannock County school bus and a car that collided with it near Chester Gap. Rappahannock News Staff Photo/Roger Piantadosi.

School bus crash injures driver of car only

The driver of a car that apparently swerved into an oncoming Rappahannock County school bus Tuesday afternoon was the only person injured in the 4 p.m. accident.

State Trooper Don Corbin said a 2008 Honda Accord driven by Delmas Dean Dotson, 43, of Huntly, pulled out of a driveway onto U.S. 522 north and almost immediately crossed the center line into the path of the school bus, which was coming down the mountain from Chester Gap with nine children left to drop off at home.

None of the children was injured, and all were picked up less than a half hour later by a replacement bus.

The bus was driven by Kathy Ann Smoot, 46, of Front Royal. Corbin said the bus suffered minor damage, and that Smoot was not transported to Warren Memorial Hospital — as was Dotson, where he was treated and later released — but that she was planning to go there on her own.

Dotson’s car struck the bus in the left front end, Corbin said. The driver was charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain control, he said.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 544 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.