Two airlifted in 211 accident

Staff Photo/Roger Piantadosi

Two young men extracted by rescuers from a car with Maryland license plates were airlifted to area medical centers just after 6 p.m. Monday, where both were reported Tuesday to be in critical but stable condition in the facilities’ intensive care units.

The driver of the car was identified by Virginia State Police Trooper Don Corbin as Hans Christian Shankle, 24, whose car is registered to a address in Hagerstown, Md., but who Corbin said has family in Sperryville. Shankle was transported by helicopter to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Corbin identified the passenger as Joseph Anthony Ruffner, whose age was not known, and whom Corbin said was believed to be living in Sperryville. A second helicopter took Ruffner to Winchester Medical Center.

Staff Photo/Roger Piantadosi

The car, a 2005 Honda sedan, rolled over multiple times and wound up in the median of U.S. 211 at Beckwith Lane, just west of Rappahannock County High School; Corbin said he the investigation into the cause of the accident continues — and that excessive speed and erratic driving were reported by witnesses who saw the car just before the accident occurred, though none of those to whom he’d spoken had seen the actual crash. The car exited Old Hollow Road, according to one witness, without stopping at the stop sign there.

Corbin said tire marks showed that the vehicle was in the left lane heading east on the four-lane highway when it left the roadway and traveled some 600 feet over grass until it struck a drainage pipe, which caused it to roll over multiple times, coming to rest on its side.

No other vehicles were involved, Corbin said. In addition to speed, he said, alcohol may be a factor in the wreck.

Volunteer responders from Washington, Sperryville Fire, Sperryville Rescue and Amissville companies worked for close to 45 minutes to extract the passenger and then the driver from the vehicle, while a crew from Flint Hill Fire and Rescue set up the landing zone for the helicopters at the high school.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 545 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.


  1. I have to agree with the earlier post. The fire, rescue and police worked so swiftly, professionally and compassionately to expedite the necessary care. I feel fortunate to have the dedicated paid and volunteer rescue folks we have in this community where every second really counts. Today, they worked like “one” well oiled machine getting those men to the care they needed. Thank you.
    Melissa Harris

  2. Great response by the Washington Fire and Rescue, the chief is doing an awesome job, just keep it up. I feel very comfortable knowing what a great dept this little hamlet has. Keep up the great work everyone. Thank you for your time and energies, just wanted to let you know someone out there cares.

Comments are closed.