Arrest made as boy fights for life following hit-and-run crash at school bus stop, Va. officials say

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(Photo: Courtesy Virginia State Police)

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia State Police have arrested a Martinsville man in connection with a Thursday afternoon hit-and-run that left a Henry County boy fighting for his life in the hospital.

According to police, at approximately 3:23 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, a Henry County Public Schools bus stopped in the northbound lane in the 8000 block of Route 57 to let a 9-year-old boy exit the bus. However, as the boy was crossing the road, a westbound white Toyota pickup truck hit the boy and drove off.

Authorities tell WFXR News that the school bus had its flashing lights and stop arm activated at the time of the crash.

The boy — who Virginia State Police had previously said was eight instead of nine — was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he is still being treated for life-threatening injuries.

On Friday, following an extensive investigation and multiple interviews, officials announced that 57-year-old David Paul Walker had been identified as the driver.

Virginia State Police say they were able to identify Walker’s truck using the school bus’s onboard camera system and state troopers quickly tracked down the vehicle as evidence.

“Thanks to multiple tips called in by the public and the persistent hard work of our troopers and special agents, state police was able to identify the suspect driver and take him into custody at approximately 1:30 a.m. Friday,” said Capt. Richard A. Denney, Virginia State Police Salem Division commander. “We are keeping the young boy and his family in our prayers as he continues to recover from his very serious injuries.”

Walker has been charged with one felony count of hit-and-run and is being held without bond in the Henry County Jail, authorities say.

Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester thanked the Virginia State Police for their expeditious investigation and making the arrest, saying, “Our office will continue to work closely with the Virginia State Police as this case develops further and the criminal charges advance through the court system.  If anyone has information regarding this case please contact the State Police.”

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