11-year-old victim named in submerged vehicle incident, search efforts still underway
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - 1/6/2023 Update: Virginia State Police are providing an update on the bodies found in the Rockfish River in Nelson County.
VSP says it was alerted to a submerged vehicle in the river near the intersection of Bridgeport Lane and Johnson Hollow around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, December 27.
Investigators believe a 1997 Toyota 4Runner tried to cross the flooded river at a low crossing and was swept away by the strong current. Five individuals are reported to have been in the vehicle.
The bodies of 17-year-old Christopher W. Doss of Arrington and 11-year-old Jasiah Davis of Arrington were located on the riverbank.
The body of 30-year-old Pharoah M. Shabazz of Arrington was recovered from the vehicle. Shabazz was the court-appointed legal guardian of three of the passengers. The fourth passenger was a friend.
Doss was a student at Amherst County High School. The school district announced Thursday, January 5, that it is also aware of the possibility of two additional students - one from the same high school and one from Amherst Middle School - being involved.
An 18-year-old male and a 12-year-old boy were also inside the vehicle but are reportedly still missing. VSP Search and Recovery Team divers returned to the Rockfish River on Jan. 3 to resume search efforts for the two. Unfortunately, the daylong search efforts did not result in the bodies being located. The VSP SRT divers are continuously assessing the water levels to determine which day is best to return and conduct another search of the river.
This incident remains under investigation.
This is a developing story.
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