One dead in two-vehicle collision

By Joe Beck

STEPHENS CITY — A two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Tasker Road and Queens Way on Thursday took the life of a Winchester man

Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler of the Virginia State Police identified the victim as Wesley Lee Helsley, 60.

Tyler said Helsley was driving his vehicle, a 2000 Chevrolet Blazer, westbound on Tasker Road at about 12:05 p.m. when a 2005 Toyota Camry northbound on Va. 740 pulled out from a stop sign, crossed the eastbound lane of Tasker Road, and struck the left rear of Helsley’s Blazer.

Helsley’s vehicle spun and overturned, according to Tyler. The impact ejected Helsley from his vehicle, and he died at the scene from crash injuries, Tyler said, adding that Helsley was not wearing a seat belt.

Tyler said the driver of the second car, Betty Cappellini, 86, of Stephens City, was uninjured. No charges have been filed, but the investigation, led by trooper K.L. Myers, is continuing.

Helsley’s overturned vehicle was still resting on its roof in the middle of the road about an hour after the accident. A bag of golf clubs lay on the pavement next to the Blazer.

A woman, who would give her name only as “a Christian,” said she and her grandmother arrived at the scene seconds after the accident and prayed over Helsley’s body while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

The woman, who had been in a car at a stoplight about a block away, said she kicked off her shoes and ran full speed to attend to Helsley, but he was already unconscious when she reached him and called 911.

“I just saw dust and ran up to him,” she said. “We ran up to him and were praying until he was gone.”

She added: “Whether he could hear us or not, I don’t know.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or

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