Two Dead After Bedford County Crash, One Was Sweet Briar Graduate

Picture from Bedford Fire Department

Update 5:30 p.m.:

Bedford Co. VA - Officials say the two people who lost their lives in a Bedford County accident Wednesday night were both from out of state.

Police identified them as David Howe, 75, from Graham, North Carolina and Elizabeth Wilson, 22, from Pillager, Minnesota.

They were in different vehicles.

Wilson was the passenger in the white car in the picture taken by the Bedford Fire Department at the scene.

Howe was the driver of the red pickup truck.

State Police say Mariah Skalka, 20, from Bedford was driving the car on Joppa Mill Road around 7:15 p.m. when she ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of the truck, which was heading toward Bedford on 122.

Wilson, who died, graduated just last month from Sweet Briar College in Amherst County and that Skalka is also a student there.

Sweet Briar President Jo Ellen Parker says the young women were good friends.

"Of course many of our students are not on campus, so people will be learning the news throughout the day and we expect for many people it's going to be a very sad and reflective day today," she said.

Sweet Briar has reached out to Liz Wilson's mother and will be giving her a place to stay at the campus inn when she arrives from Minnesota.

Skalka and a passenger in the truck, Pearl Howe, 71, are both in good condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Skalka has been charged with reckless driving. State Police say this crash is still under investigation. They add that alcohol was not a factor.

Pearl Howe, Skalka, and Wilson were all wearing seat belts, according to State Police. They say David Skalka was not wearing a seat belt.


Bedford Co., VA - Two people are dead after a crash in Bedford County.

State Police say Mariah Skalka from Bedford was driving a Plymouth Breeze on Joppa Mill Road around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

State Police say Skalka ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of a Chevy pickup truck heading toward Bedford on 122.

The truck's driver, David Howe from Graham, North Carolina was killed. A passenger in the car, Elizabeth Wilson from Minnesota, also died.

Wilson graduated in May from Sweet Briar College. Skalka is also a Sweet Briar student.

Skalka and a passenger in the truck, Pearl Howe, were both taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. They are both listed in good condition.