County Deputy Crash Closes Main Street

Cruiser Hits Car; Drivers Sent To Hospital With Minor Injuries

Posted: August 12, 2014

Rescue personnel treat a deputy near a Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office cruiser after a collision with a car at Elizabeth and North Main streets in front of the Harrisonburg Public Safety Building on Monday. (Photo by Preston Knight / DN-R)

HARRISONBURG — A Rockingham County sheriff’s deputy collided with a Subaru Forester in downtown Harrisonburg Monday morning, shutting down North Main Street for nearly four hours.

Both drivers sustained minor injuries, Virginia State Police trooper Robert Lawson said.

At the request of Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson, state police is investigating the incident. It occurred in front of the Public Safety Building at  North Main and Elizabeth streets at 10:30 a.m.

Lawson said deputy Donald Landes was responding to an emergency call and traveling north on Main Street with his lights and siren activated. He arrived at a red light at Main and Elizabeth streets and then T-boned the 2003 Subaru driven by Erma Davis, 78, of Harrisonburg, Lawson said. She was heading west on Elizabeth Street.

While motorists are supposed to yield the right of way to police and emergency vehicles en route to a call, no charges have yet been filed and the crash remains under investigation. Lawson said. 

Air bags deployed inside the deputy’s vehicle, which sustained heavy front-end, and passenger’s side damage and wound up facing the entrance to the building, which faces the intersection.

The Subaru struck a brick wall and came to rest toward the northern end of the building along North Main. Its damage was relegated mainly to the front driver’s side.

Emergency personnel took both to Sentara RMH Medical Center, where they were treated, Lawson said.

The intersection of Main and Elizabeth streets and North Main, from Court Square to Wolfe Street, were closed until 2:30 p.m. as a crash reconstruction team from the Harrisonburg Police Department reviewed the scene.

Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or


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