Virginia State Police investigate three fatal crashes locally Tuesday morning

Posted at 6:10 AM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 18:07:49-05

JAMES CITY Co., Va. - Virginia State Police are investigating three fatal crashes that took place locally Tuesday morning.

Two fatal motor vehicle crashes on eastbound I-64 in James City County happened just miles from each other.

Authorities say the first crash occurred on eastbound Interstate 64 at the 244.2 mile marker at approximately 3:41 a.m.

According to the preliminary investigation, 19-year-old Quentin L. Norman, was driving eastbound, when he lost control of the vehicle, ran off the roadway, and struck the VDOT/244.2 mm signage. When he struck the signage the vehicle went into a ditch and overturned.

The vehicle landed on its rooftop, wedged between two trees.

Police say Norman died upon impact at the scene.

Norman's front seat passenger, 19-year-old Amanuel Copeland of Norfolk, was critically injured and taken to Riverside Regional, in Newport News.

Another passenger suffered minor injuries and he was also taken to Riverside Regional.

The fourth occupant, 24-year-old Mostapha Elsayed Mostapa M Atwa, was not injured, but police say he was wanted with outstanding warrants on file and was placed under arrest.

At the scene of the crash, police say five guns were recovered, with one gun found to be reported stolen out of Norfolk. Narcotics were also recovered at the scene.

The second crash was also fatal and happened at the 231 mile marker around 7:22 a.m.

After an investigation, State Police say this was a single-vehicle crash, with the back seat passenger being fatally wounded. Troopers were called to investigate the crash involving a 2015 Chevrolet Express Van.

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Officials say the driver, 31-year-old Humberto Vara-Luna of Arlington, was driving eastbound on I-64 when he lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road and rolled the vehicle several times in the median before it came to rest on the shoulder.

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Vara-Luna was able to get out of the vehicle and was taken to Riverside Regional Hospital with serious injuries.

The front seat passenger, 30-year-old Wlber Escobar-Orellana of Triangle, Virginia, suffered serious, life-threatening injuries and was med-flighted from the scene to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

State Police say the back seat passenger, 30-year-old Sara Maria Diaz-Nieto of Triangle, died from her injuries at the scene. Her next of kin have been notified.

Vara-Luna was charged with reckless driving and driving while revoked. Alcohol may have been a contributing factor.

At this time, other charges are pending the final results of the investigation.

Another fatal crash occurred on I-85 at the 21-mile marker in Brunswick County around 6:35 a.m.

While on routine patrol, a Trooper found an abandoned vehicle in the northbound lanes of the interstate. The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu had front-end damage, but the driver was nowhere to be found.

The Trooper searched the area and was unable to find the driver. The vehicle was secured and towed from the scene to open up the lane of travel.

At approximately 8:32 a.m., the Brunswick 911 call center received a call of a pedestrian lying in the road at Route 1, south of Grandy Road, about 2.5 miles from the 21 mile marker.

Rescue responded to the scene, but the pedestrian was dead upon arrival.

Further investigation revealed that the pedestrian, 27-year-old Shameek Kyree Price of Mansfield, Ohio, was the driver of the Chevrolet. State Police say Price had made contact with his mother from the crash scene, telling her he was hit by a tractor trailer on the interstate.

VSP says there were no calls of the crash or vehicles stopped at the scene other than the Chevrolet Malibu.

Price's next of kin have been notified of his death.

State Police are reaching out to the community for any witnesses who may have been driving in the area of northbound I-85 in the area of the 21 mile marker before or after the incident.

If you have any information about this incident and/or witnessed suspicious behavior, you are encouraged to contact Virginia State Police by calling (757)424-6800 or emailing

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