A county truck hit her car. Then the driver sped off: 'Henrico needs to step up'

Posted at 3:06 PM, Aug 16, 2022

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico mother says the county owes her money after the driver of a Henrico County truck hit her car and drove off.

”Henrico needs to step up,” Natalie Townsend said.

Townsend was driving along Laburnum Avenue at about 3 p.m. on June 24, when she said the driver of a Henrico County truck hit her car.

“As I was coming down East Laburnum and there was Henrico Public Utility truck trying to turn," Townsend said. "She sped up to come in and hit me and I end up hitting my head on my window.”

Surveillance video from a nearby NAPA Auto Parts store captured the crash as a truck was turning left crossing northbound traffic on Laburnum.

Laburnum Avenue crash surveillance video

Henrico Police confirmed officers responded to a two-vehicle crash along Laburnum Avenue that day.

"Reports to police indicate a white truck was seen leaving the area as first responders began arriving on the scene," Henrico Police spokesperson Lt. Matt Pecka said. "Henrico Police coordinated with other county departments in follow-up investigations into the suspect vehicle. However, at this time, the vehicle/driver has not been identified."

Townsend, who police said was not at fault in the accident, called 911 from her damaged car.

“The young lady came out of her car. Common sense would [dictate she] needs to check [on me] because she hit me,” Townsend said.

Laura PSI Henrico crash 01.png

According to the Henrico Police report, a female in her 40s was driving a Henrico County-owned white Ford pick-up truck. She pulled into an access road after the crash but did not stay there for long.

“As soon as she saw the fire [trucks], she heard the fire department call, she made a U-turn and the fire department tried to stop her and she sped off,” Townsend said.

In the security video, you can see the driver of the pick-up truck pull out of the access road eight minutes after the crash and flee from the scene past first responders and Townsend.

“Excuse my language, what the hell? I'm like, come on, you hit me,” Townsend said. “If I was to hit you, and I leave this intersection, I'd be arrested. My license gets suspended all that,” she added. “No, I get hit by a Henrico Public Utility car [and] nothing is done. My car is not paid, my bills not paid, my injuries not paid. All I asked was to pay my stuff."

Townsend said she thought that would happen after she sent the county the surveillance video of the crash.

Risk management confirmed receipt of the video in an email dated August 2 and said they would call her, but Townsend said she never heard back until the CBS 6 Problem Solvers made an inquiry.

“He gave me the runaround. I'm like I sent him the video and still nothing. I'm not understanding what is so hard,” said Townsend.

Townsend paid her $750 insurance deductible to get her vehicle fixed.

Laura PSI Henrico crash 02.png

“I have a witness that says it was a public utility car and you're gonna do nothing about that? I'm like she left the scene of the accident?” Townsend said.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers spoke with a NAPA Auto employee who confirmed that he witnessed the Henrico vehicle involved in the accident.

“They need to pay for my car, they need to pay for my doctor bill, my injuries. Get this truck driver out of the road because for her to leave this scene of the accident. I'm sorry, she should be fired,” said Townsend.

"Henrico County is aware of the allegation that one of our vehicles and potentially one of our employees were involved in a hit-and-run crash," Henrico County spokesperson Ben Sheppard said. "In addition to the investigation by the Police Division, the county has initiated an administrative review to determine the facts of this incident. We take this allegation seriously and are committed to resolving it as swiftly as possible," he added.

“Police are still searching for the driver involved and any information regarding the crash," Pecka said.

Anyone with information was asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-100.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.