Police ID a suspect in fatal Frederick County hit-and-run

Photo of 20-year-old Christofer A. Valeriano-Lanza provided by Virginia State Police
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Police have identified a suspect they say was involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Frederick County this past weekend.

According to Virginia State Police, 20-year-old Christofer A. Valeriano-Lanza, of Winchester, is wanted on one felony county of failing to report an accident involving injury or death.

Police say early in the morning of Saturday, Jan. 11, at 1:41 a.m., a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer ran off the left side of Route 7 (Berryville Pike) about a tenth of a mile west of Rt. 901 (Regency Lakes).

The driver over-corrected, ran off the right side of the road, hit a guardrail, and then hit 49-year-old Mark Smith, a Winchester man who was on a bicycle, from behind.

Smith, who police say was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

According to investigators, the car then over-corrected again, ran off the left side of the road, hit a ditch, and overturned.

Police say they believe there may have been two people in the Mitsubishi who both fled the scene after the fatal crash.

Valeriano-Lanza is being investigated as one of those two people. If you have any information about his whereabouts or more information about the crash, you're asked to contact Virginia State Police at 540-662-3313 or by email at area13@vsp.virginia.gov.

Troopers are investigating both speed and alcohol as factors in the deadly crash.


Virginia State Police Trooper J. Myers is investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist in Frederick County on Saturday.

The crash happened around 1:40 a.m. on Route 7 (Berryville Pike) at 1 tenth of a mile west Route 991 (Regency Lakes).

A 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer was traveling east on Rt. 7 when the driver lost control, ran off the left side of the roadway, over corrected, ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a guardrail, and struck a bicyclist.

The Mitsubishi then ran off the left side of the roadway, collided with a ditch, and overturned. The bicyclist was traveling east on Rt. 7 when it was struck from behind by the Mitsubishi.

The bicyclist, Mark W. Smith, 49, of Winchester, Va., died at the scene as a result of his injuries. Smith was not wearing a helmet.

The driver of the Mitsubishi fled the scene of the crash on foot before law enforcement arrived.

Speed and alcohol are both considered factors in the crash.

The crash remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Virginia State Trooper J. Myers at 540-662-3313 or email area13@vsp.virginia.gov.

VSP’s Division 2 Accident Reconstruction Team, VSP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation. Frederick County Fire and Rescue and Virginia Department of Transportation assisted with the scene.