Fatal accident apparent result of intended night safety warning

By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report

Front Royal, Va. — According to the daughter of a man killed when he was struck by a car while walking to work along Fairgrounds Road the evening of Dec. 28, the sequence of events leading to the fatal accident may have been initiated by a well intentioned Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Virginia State Police Press Officer Sgt. F. L. Tyler reports that 59 year old James Alfred Oldfield died as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck at 10:25 p.m. by a 2002 Chevy Avalon driven by Joshua William Stanley, 27, of Martinsburg, West Virginia. The accident occurred three tenths of a mile east of Route 522 on Fairgrounds Road as Oldfield was walking west.

Oldfield was flown by medical helicopter to Winchester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m. on Dec. 29.

“Our understanding is that the deputy was turning around to tell him he needed to wear a reflector and the other driver was coming out of Ferguson’s and looked in his rear view mirror when the deputy turned their lights on and didn’t see dad,” Oldfield’s daughter Joanna Morgan told us. She said she believes the driver exiting Ferguson’s believed he was being pulled over by the deputy, possibly for expired tags, when he began to pull to the side of the road and struck her father.

Sgt. Tyler later confirmed this outline of the incident and said that Stanley was eventually charged with an expired registration.

Joanna said her dad, who lived off Fairgrounds Road, was walking to Family Dollar for the third shift which began at 11 p.m. She added that her dad lost his car to a finance company she had less than kind words for recently and had just decided to continue walking to work as a cost saving measure in the tight economy.

The accident was investigated by VSP Trooper P. M. Neff, who was assisted at the scene by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and county fire and rescue.

“He was a professional painter. He loved art, loved to draw and go fishing with the kids. He was just a general, good person and there aren’t many of those around. And he was a devout Christian – and that’s made it easier on us because we know he’s gone to heaven.

“I don’t know what else to tell you about Daddy other than we love him and miss him,” Joanna concluded.

The family sent us this statement to accompany this story:

James “Jimmy” Oldfield, born November 26, 1951, went unexpectedly to be with the Lord on December 29, 2010. He was a friend to many and loved by those who knew him. When people met Jimmy they met a friend.

We will all miss you, Jimmy. Love, your daughters, Joanna Morgan, Nancy and Jamie Oldfield, and your grandchildren, Ashlan and Jessica Morgan, Brennan Paul Dalton and the rest of our family. May you rest in the Lord’s arms.

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