Father Of James Madison University Frosh Was On Way To Surprise Son
By Pete DeLea and Jeremy Hunt
Joseph V. Mirenda left Wintergreen on his bicycle Tuesday morning bound for
Harrisonburg. He was going to stop by and surprise his son, a freshman at
James Madison University, but Mirenda didn’t make it to the end of the 50-mile
trek. On Wednesday, police identified Mirenda, 49, of Virginia Beach, as
the victim in Tuesday’s fatal crash in Rockingham County.
Around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, emergency personnel were dispatched to Port Republic Road,
about a mile east of Cross Keys Road, where they found the cyclist lying in the
ditch. Mirenda was riding west on Port Republic Road when he was struck
by a westbound 2000 Ford Taurus driven by Jessica Chandler, according to the
Virginia State Police.
No charges were filed as of press time Wednesday,
but investigators obtained a search warrant for the driver’s cell phone
records. First Sgt. Bryan Hutcheson with the state police said
investigators will be looking into whether Chandler, 22, of Port Republic, was
talking on her cell phone or texting in the moments before the crash
“We don’t want to leave any stones unturned,” Hutcheson said.
Although the Daily-News Record has confirmed a search warrant was
issued in the case, the document remains sealed by court order at the Rockingham
County Circuit Court. Meanwhile, investigators are still trying to piece
together exactly how the crash happened.
They had spent Tuesday and most
of Wednesday trying to determine the name of the cyclist, who had no
identification on him.
State police caught a break in the investigation Wednesday afternoon when they
received a call from the Wintergreen Police Department.
A Virginia Beach woman contacted the department and said she
couldn’t reach her husband, who was staying at the family’s home in Wintergreen,
The wife mentioned he may have gone on a bicycle ride.
Wintergreen officers recalled seeing a man riding a bicycle there
Tuesday morning, and he matched the description of the then-unidentified cyclist
killed in Tuesday’s crash.
The state police and Wintergreen officers then
confirmed the man’s identity based on an inscription on a wedding band he was
It said “Frauke & Joe” with the date 9-24-88 on
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or
I put this up on one of the Tri web site forums, I received a number of cleaver
answers where some people carry there drivers license, a business card, their
cell phone, etc. One athlete has all his vitals written inside his helmet. But
is seems that many simply have identifying data on a card in a plastic bag in a
fanny pack, bike saddle tool kit, etc. Please make the effort. Do it today!
John Post, MD