Virginia State Police Trooper B.W. Breeden is still investigating a fatal crash that occurred in Rockingham County Monday evening (Oct. 22). At 5:09 p.m., Trooper Breeden was called to the scene in the 17,000 block of Red Brush Road.
Ralph J. Mowbray, 73, of Elkton, was mowing his yard when the riding lawnmower got stuck in a ditch along Red Brush Road. With the assistance of two other gentlemen, Mr. Mowbray secured a rope to the lawnmower and used a Honda Foreman ATV to pull the lawnmower from the ditch. One of the two other men was wearing a reflective traffic vest and helping direct traffic as Mr. Mowbray worked to pull the lawnmower from the ditch.
After successfully removing the lawnmower from the ditch, Mr. Mowbray stopped the ATV sideways in the westbound lane of Red Brush Road. As Mr. Mowbray was exiting the ATV, a westbound 1994 Ford Escort struck him. The man directing traffic narrowly escaped being struck by the Ford Escort.
Mr. Mowbray was flown to UVA, where he died from his injuries.
The driver of the Ford Escort, Justin D. Harris, 26, of Elkton, was not injured in the crash. Harris has been charged with DUI and failing to wear a seat belt. Additional charges are pending consultation with the Rockingham County Commonwealth's Attorney.