On May 8, 2021, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Deputy R.W. Marcelle observed a 2003 Cadillac passenger vehicle being operated in a reckless manner on Route 11 North in the area of Welltown Road. The Cadillac was observed accelerating rapidly, clearly traveling well above the posted limit of 40 mph, before merging onto Route 37 southbound.
Deputy Marcelle, caught up to the vehicle without activating his emergency lights and siren to establish an accurate speed. Marcelle caught up to the vehicle, prior to the Route 522 exit, where he estimated the Cadillac’s prior speed to be over 100 mph and now slowing on the exit ramp before stopping at a red traffic light.
Deputy Marcelle decided he would stop the vehicle in the area of the Sheetz in Sunnyside, once the light cycled green, so both vehicles could clear the ramp and intersection. Upon the light turning green, the Cadillac made a left turn South onto Route 522 and accelerated rapidly. Marcelle now activated his emergency equipment to pull the subject over only to have the Cadillac accelerate and pull away from him. Deputy Marcelle next radioed that he had a subject attempting to flee a traffic stop and tried to catch up to the suspect. Marcelle noted that the Cadillac was now traveling above 100 mph and headed towards the city limits of Winchester.
The driver of the Cadillac had created distance between himself and the deputy and was coming up the bend of Route 522 where the 4-lane divided roadway transitions down to a 2-lane non-divided configuration. The Cadillac’s momentum carried it across the centerline and partially into the northbound lane where it side-swiped a 2016 Honda Civic operated by Jeremy Nicely of Winchester. The Honda was struck along its driver’s side before spinning across the northbound lanes and coming to rest on the southbound edge of the road facing south.
The Cadillac now continued south, in the northbound lane, and hit a 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer, operated by Zachary Harner of Winchester, head-on. This impact pushed the Blazer back approximately 50 feet and caused the Cadillac to spin 180 degrees, flip onto its roof, and come to final rest next to the Blazer.
Deputy Marcelle, still attempting to overtake the Cadillac, witnessed the Honda come spinning across his lane where he was able to avoid a crash with it. Once clear of the Honda, Marcelle saw the aftermath of the second event, between the Cadillac and the Blazer, and radioed in requesting an appropriate emergency response. Marcelle and other responding deputies used fire extinguishers to contain a small fire that was coming from the exposed undercarriage of the Cadillac. The positioning and condition of the Cadillac prevented deputies from gaining access to anyone in the vehicle.
Frederick County Fire / EMS arrived at the scene and began extrication procedures on the Cadillac in addition to the treatment of serious, but apparently non-life-threatening, injuries to Harner in the Blazer. Once access to the cockpit of the Cadillac was made, it was clear that the driver had not survived and was pronounced deceased on scene.
Lt. Warren Gosnell and members of the FCSO Traffic Division responded to the scene to handle the fatal crash investigation. The driver of the Cadillac was identified as Kondwani Rogers with a Waterford Lane address in Frederick County where personal notification was made to Rogers’ family of his death. Harner was transported to Winchester Medical Center and underwent surgery for various fractures and injuries as a result of the crash. The driver of the Honda refused medical treatment.
All three vehicles are considered to be total losses. Members of the FCSO Patrol Division, VDOT, and Virginia State Police all assisted on this call. The roadway was shut down for approximately six hours during the investigation, and it was noted that this is the second major crash at this location in the past 10 days.
Press Release from Frederick County Sheriff’s Office
Front Royal Zombie Walk 2021
The 2021 Front Royal Zombie Walk was a great success. We raised almost $500 (so far) in donations for the Front Royal/Warren County Humane Society.
Hundred of Zombies walked the streets of Front Royal on Saturday night. Fun for all at the Boomuseum. Good to see the community gathering at the Gazebo area and just enjoy the time together. People of all ages participated, some just came to watch, from a safe distance, of course.
A BIG thank you to all who helped this year. A BIG BIG thank you to Shae Parker and his band, River Driven. The music calmed even Zombies.
And we don’t want to Forget the Front Royal Police Department – they assisted in getting the Zombies across the busy traffic and safely downtown.
The Zombie Walk 2021 T-Shirts are still available at C&C Frozen Treats on Main Street.
Did you miss it? Watch the event now on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:
Everyone age 12 and older can now get the COVID vaccine
Here are the COVID-19 vaccine locations in Warren County. Be sure to call and check on vaccine availability and appointment times.
Walmart Inc #10-5105
10 Riverton Commons Dr, Front Royal, VA 22630
CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #17367
10 Crooked Run Plaza, Front Royal, VA 22630
Warren County Health Department
465 W 15th St #200, Front Royal, VA 22630
CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #07509
800 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal, VA 22630
409 South St, Front Royal, VA 22630
Check at https://www.vaccines.gov/ for other locations in our area.
Protect yourself and others. Remember the following when receiving your COVID-19 vaccine:
- Wear a cloth face covering or mask in accordance with CDC guidance
- Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people not in your household at all times
- Respect the privacy of others when taking photos
Warrior Psychotherapy Services opens on Main Street
Niki Foster Cales of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, along with fellow Chamber members and Supervisor Walt Mabe welcomed Courtney Patti to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Warrior Psychotherapy Services is located at 130 E. Main Street in Front Royal.
Courtney Patti is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 15 years of practice working with the chronic medical and behavioral health population.
Her experience includes working in facilities such as Children’s National Medical Center, Washington Hospital Center Outpatient Behavioral Health, University of Virginia Medical Center, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and Ft Belvoir Community Hospital working in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Religion from Sweet Briar College in 2005. Courtney received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Catholic University of America: National Catholic School of Social Services in Washington, D.C. in 2007.
Her specialty focuses on adults whose lives are impacted by depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and unresolved emotional issues. She is considered an expert in her field in formulating diagnostic and treatment recommendations, providing individual, couple, and family therapy.
Motion to bar press from hearing on Luckey indecent sexual liberties with a minor charges delays hearing to January 6
On Thursday, October 21, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Daryl Funk ruled in favor of a defense motion to bar the press from the courtroom during the hearing of accused child sexual abuser Dr. William R. Luckey. The ruling, at the request of Luckey’s defense counsel Shannon Johnson, resulted in a continuation of the scheduled hearing at which the alleged juvenile victim was expected to testify.
Court records indicate the hearing was continued to January 6 of next year on the morning docket with an anticipated start time of 10:30 a.m. The delay will allow press organizations to file responses to the judge’s ruling on their exclusion, making their case to be allowed in the courtroom for future hearings or trials where testimony by and about the alleged victim would be heard.
According to reports Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Samantha Meadows was poised to call at least three witnesses Thursday, including the alleged victim and case investigator Kristin Hajduk of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. However, the youth’s testimony would have been by remote video hook-up, avoiding the necessity of an underage witness having to be in the same room with their accused abusers as they testify.
On June 25, 2021, the 72-year-old, retired (in 2015) Christendom College professor of 33 years and more recent teacher at the Padre Pio Academy at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal was charged with one count of “Solicitation of prostitution from a minor less than age 16” and two charges of “Indecent liberties … of a child less than 15”. Court documents list all three offense dates as June 22, 2021, three days prior to Luckey’s arrest. Original presiding Judge Nancy Reed initially denied bond in the case on June 30. However, upon defense appeal citing health issues and his long-term ties to the community, Luckey was released on a $50,000 secured bond on July 12.
Copies of warrants on those charges offered additional detail. Of the two indecent liberties charges, Luckey is accused of “with lascivious intent knowingly and intentionally sexually abuse a (age withheld by paper) female …” and “that the accused feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of such child”.
Of the solicitation charge, the warrant alleges that Luckey offered “money or its equivalent to a minor under 16 years of age … with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify and thereafter perform a substantial act in furtherance thereof.” Commonwealth evidence indicated that money was ten dollars offered to the alleged victim to see and touch their “bottom”. The warrants indicate the money was refused by the child, but that Luckey followed through with the suggested behavior, leaving the ten dollars behind when he left the scene.
During initial hearings last summer the Commonwealth introduced recorded phone conversations between Dr. Luckey and his wife discussing her husband’s legal situation in the days following his arrest. Investigator Hajduk told the court that the couple knew they were being recorded on the phone line to the jail before introducing recorded segments of those conversations to the court and summarizing other sections. While the prosecution’s take on those segments was that they indicated an admission of some of the alleged behavior, the defense disputed that contention.
Rather, defense attorney Johnson argued certain conversational lines simply indicated Dr. Luckey’s reaction to the charges against him or social dynamics involved with those accusations. In fact, she told the court some of Dr. Luckey’s comments to his wife indicated a belief the charges “were invalid” and that his accuser could face the consequences of filing a false police report.
“This isn’t what happened,” Julie Luckey told her husband of specific sexual acts described in one of the warrants, later adding, “It’s not like you raped somebody.”
“No, it doesn’t say ‘Show me your hiney,’ Dr. Luckey seemed to laugh in response to his wife’s dispute over the content of the warrants. At another point in recorded conversations in the days after his arrest, Dr. Luckey told his wife his situation was a result “of 15 minutes of stupidity on my part.”
Whether that “15 minutes of stupidity” will be viewed as a criminal solicitation and abuse of a minor remains to be seen; as does whether future preliminary hearings or a potential trial will be viewed and reported by the media.
I-81 southbound slow roll scheduled in Frederick County on October 26th
A slow-roll is scheduled on Interstate 81 in Frederick County on Tuesday, October 26 at 11 a.m. This operation, managed by the Virginia State Police, will take place in southbound lanes between exit 307 at Route 277 in the Stephens City area and exit 302 at Route 627 in the Middletown area. All slow-roll activity will conclude by noon.
The slow roll is needed for blasting operations near I-81 that will take place on a developer’s construction site in the Middletown area.
All work is weather permitting.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.
WCHS conducts National Honors Society induction ceremony
On October 14, 2021, Warren County High School’s National Honors Society chapter held an induction ceremony. The chapter inducted twenty-six (26) new members. National Honors Society is a national organization dedicated to scholarship, character, service, and leadership. These new inductees will be a part of an organization of incredibly impressive alumni.
All new members received a certificate and their membership cards. Mrs. Jyoti Vasishta, NHS advisor, stated in her introduction speech: “Our chapter is proud to have been inducting new members since 1963 and today’s ceremony indicates the continuing emphasis on excellence that we represent for our school and community”.
Last year’s new members were unable to receive an official induction ceremony due to the pandemic. A part of the ceremony was dedicated to recognize and honor these members. These members also received the certificate and the membership pin.
Mr. Kenneth Knesh, Warren County High School’s principal, delivered an inspirational speech to students and parents in the closing.
“Tonight you join judges, lawyers, teachers, military officers, Ivy League graduates and yes, even a current rocket scientist at NASA as members of our NHS fraternity. Now your name will be among those distinguished alumni who proudly call Warren County High School their alma mater. They went on to do great things and we believe that you are destined to join them in helping to shape the world we live in and become future leaders of this great country of ours. Be bold, be brave and be the light of someone’s world.”
New members include: Alyssa Albritton, Genevieve Blodgett, Anthony Carter, Zane Michael Clark, Nicholas Foltz, Amanda Genari, Lacie Glascock, Ginger Gouda, Ian Hoelscher, Arthur Kresge, Audrey Moya Machuca, Gabriella Mangene, John Martin, Emily Mawson, Haley Oyler, Cayden Patton, Mason Polk, Landon Pond, Nicole Ranney, Julianne Rappole, Mia Santillan, Sara Waller, Sebastian Ward, Leah Webster, Olivia Yates, and Brian Zook.
Former members include: Paige Arndt, Madeline Bryant, Aidan Grupac, Cayla Kleinschmidt (Historian), Griffin Martin, Maya McKean, Joanna Mendez-Dorado, Savannah Mitchell, Mavryck Lance Mora, Emma Mullins, Sydney Nalls (Treasurer), Margaret Plosch, Taye Russell, Nathalie Schelin, Jordan Searcey, John Schultzaberger (President), Kiersten Stives (Secretary), and Francis Treutlein (Vice President).
By Emily Mawson, NHS Inductee