Hit and run injury case sent to grand jury

By Joe Beck

A Woodstock man accused of injuring a property owner in a hit and run crash on June 14 will face a possible indictment by a grand jury after a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Shenandoah County General District Court.

Lamar Reuben Ragland is facing charges of malicious wounding and hit and run involving personal injury after Judge Amy Tisinger certified the case for grand jury consideration.

Authorities accuse Ragland of hitting a 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck on Va. 42 in the area of Wesley Chapel west of Woodstock.

The victim, Gregory Reynolds, of Edinburg, testified he was trying to wrestle control of the 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Ragland at the time of the crash.

Reynolds said he suffered cuts and bruises to his right arm during the struggle with Ragland.

“The whole inside of my arm was black and blue,” Reynolds testified.

Reynolds said the confrontation began when the car driven by Ragland crashed into a chain link fence on Reynolds’ property. Ragland began backing the car away from the fence and back onto the road, according to Reynolds.

“He was backing up toward my wife and child,” Reynolds said of Ragland. “He was an imminent threat.”

Reynolds said he reached into the car with his right arm, grabbing Ragland around the neck, head and back as he also tried to grab the key in the ignition.

“His vehicle was on my property destroying things,” Reynolds said. “If my hands were on him, I was trying to remove the key from the vehicle.”

Reynolds said Ragland backed the car onto the road, threw it into drive and drove head on into the pickup truck that had stopped in the road as the two men struggled for control of the car.

Reynolds said he glimpsed the car’s speedometer reading 50 mph as it headed for the truck.

The driver of the pickup, Wayne Kipps, testified that he suffered minor injuries that were treated at the scene. He estimated damage to his truck at $2,800.

Kipps and Reynolds testified that Ragland slipped out of the car after the crash and escaped on foot.

Virginia State Police trooper Joseph Williams, who arrived at the scene a few minutes later, said Shenandoah County sheriff’s deputies found Ragland and returned him to the scene.

Williams testified Ragland had blood on the side of his face, but was not hospitalized.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com