Virginia Father Dies After Getting Stranded, Attempting to Walk Home in Winter Storm

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Last week, Virginia experienced a devastating winter storm leaving many stranded and in trouble. After a car accident, a father there was stranded and died attempting to walk home.

Fox News reports authorities found Jacob Whaley’s remains on last Thursday in a heavily wooded area. After his car slid into a ditch during the winter storm that Monday, he tried walking the remaining six miles home to be with his two-year-old son. The incident occurred around 5 p.m. and he told his family he would walk the remaining way home. However, he texted his mother later at 8:46 p.m. saying he was lost. That was the last his family heard from him, so they reported him missing to numerous law enforcement agencies.

Angela Whaley, Jacob’s sister, told Fox News she tracked his cell phone to an area around Greene’s Corner Rd in Louisa County. “I pinged his last known location. [My mom] gave them the general area that he was in, because she was on the phone with him up until a certain point.” The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office used the information and had deputies respond to the family’s request to check that area. Additionally, police checked the route from Jacob’s last known location to his home.

Sadly, on January 6, authorities found Jacob Whaley’s remains in the woods roughly 209 yards off the roadway. They located the remains two miles away from his home while his car was six miles away.

Releasing a statement about the tragedy, the sheriff’s office offered condolences. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Jacob Whaley.”

Virginia’s Winter Storm Strands Drivers on Interstate Overnight

Unfortunately, Jacob Whaley was far from the only winter storm victim in Virginia last week. In fact, it hit some areas so hard motorists found themselves stranded on the interstate overnight.

Specifically, a 50-mile stretch in Fredericksburg, which is between Richmond and Washington D.C., saw traffic experiencing a complete standstill. The area received a whopping 14 inches of snow. Besides the inclement weather, the Virginia Department of Transportation stated disabled trucks are a big reason for stopped traffic.

One unlucky driver happened to be U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. Taking to Twitter Tuesday morning, he said his normal 2-hour trip hit the 19-hour mark and it would still take him longer.

“I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol. My office is in touch with @VaDOT to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation. Please stay safe everyone,” Kaine tweeted.

On a slightly happier note, a car returning north from Florida had a car packed with oranges and handed them out to people, Kaine included. It took time, but he reported getting through everything unscathed.