Updated : 1.5.23 : VSP Releases Some Names-Details On Multi Fatal Rockfish River Incident

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File : Photo Courtesy of VSP : Crews continue searching for two additional victims in the Rockfish River near Schuyler, Virginia. Wednesday 12.28.22
Photo Courtesy of VSP : Crews continue searching for two additional victims in the Rockfish River near Schuyler, Virginia. Wednesday 12.28.22

Near Schuyler
Nelson County, Virginia

We first broke this story in our initial post here, and a followup here.

Additional Update From VSP on 1.6.23

“UPDATE: Virginia State Police has identified the 11-year-old recovered on Dec. 27, 2022 as Jasiah Davis of Arrington, Va. In addition, further investigation revealed that Mr. Shabazz was the court-appointed legal guardian of three of the passengers. The fourth passenger was a friend.

At 11:41 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2022, the Virginia State Police was alerted to a submerged vehicle in the Rockfish River near the intersection of Bridgeport Lane and Johnson Hollow in Nelson County. State police is still working to determine the exact date the vehicle was washed into the river.

At this stage of the investigation, it appears that a 1997 Toyota 4Runner tried to cross the flooded Rockfish River at a low river crossing on Bridgeport Lane and was swept away by the strong current. The crossing is on private property.

The bodies of Christopher W. Doss, 17, of Arrington, Va., and Jasiah Davis, 11, of Arrington, Va., were located on the riverbank.

Once the Toyota was retrieved from the river, troopers recovered the body of Pharoah M. Shabazz, 30, of Arrington, Va., from inside the vehicle.

State police are told there were two additional individuals inside the Toyota – an 18-year-old male and a 12-year-old male. VSP Search and Recovery Team divers returned to the Rockfish River on Jan. 3, 2023 to resume search efforts for the two still believed missing. Unfortunately, the daylong search efforts did not result in the bodies being located. The VSP SRT divers are continuously assessing the water levels to determine which day is best to return and conduct another search of the river.

VSP Aviation Division, Virginia Department of Emergency Management search teams, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office have been assisting with the ongoing search and investigative efforts.

None of the individuals were related. The incident remains under investigation.


Shelby Crouch
Public Relations Coordinator
Virginia State Police”

See funeral home obituary info for Pharoh M. Shabazz below release.

Thursday January 5, 2023 VSP released additional this additional information down below.

“UPDATE in Nelson County Vehicle Incident

At 11:41 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2022, the Virginia State Police was alerted to a submerged vehicle in the Rockfish River near the intersection of Bridgeport Lane and Johnson Hollow in Nelson County. State police is still working to determine the exact date the vehicle was washed into the river.

At this stage of the investigation, it appears that a 1997 Toyota 4Runner tried to cross the flooded Rockfish River at a low river crossing on Bridgeport Lane and was swept away by the strong current. The crossing is on private property.

The bodies of Christopher W. Doss, 17, of Arrington, Va., and what are believed to be the remains of an 11-year-old male were located on the riverbank. State police is still waiting for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond to confirm the identity of the younger juvenile.

Once the Toyota was retrieved from the river, troopers recovered the body of Pharoah M.Shabazz, 30, of Arrington, Va., from inside the vehicle.

State police are told there were two additional individuals inside the Toyota – an 18-year-old male and a 12-year-old male. VSP Search and Recovery Team divers returned to the Rockfish River on Jan. 3, 2023 to resume search efforts for the two still believed missing. Unfortunately, the daylong search efforts did not result in the bodies being located. The VSP SRT divers are continuously assessing the water levels to determine which day is best to return and conduct another search of the river.

VSP Aviation Division, Virginia Department of Emergency Management search teams, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office have been assisting with the ongoing search and investigative efforts.

None of the individuals were related. The incident remains under investigation.

Corinne N. Geller
Public Relations Director
Virginia State Police”

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