NEW: No Charges In Deputy-Involved Crash

Posted: August 12, 2014

Daily News-Record

HARRISONBURG — No charges will be filed in Monday morning’s downtown crash involving a Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office deputy, but the officer is at fault, according to the Virginia State Police.

Deputy Donald Landes, 57, was responding to an attempted suicide call as he traveled north on Main Street through downtown, coming to a red light at Elizabeth Street, First Sgt. Frank Pyanoe said.

The deputy collided with Harrisonburg resident Erma Davis, 78, who was westbound with a green light on Elizabeth Street. Both drivers were treated for minor injuries at Sentara-RMH Medical Center and both vehicles sustained significant damage.

State law allows emergency vehicles to go through red lights “with due regard to the safety of persons and property,” code says.

“[Landes] didn’t give himself enough time to be able to react to [traffic],” Pyanoe said.

However, no charges were placed, and Landes will only be reflected as being “at fault” in the crash report submitted to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Pyanoe said.

Determining how to differentiate between the two is always difficult, he said.

Trooper Robert Lawson investigated the crash.


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