John Battle teacher dies after car crashes into Holston River in Smyth Co.

SMYTH COUNTY, VA (WJHL) - Virginia state troopers identified a woman whose body was found after her car went over an embankment and into the South Fork of the Holston River in Adwolfe, VA. 

The woman, also the driver of the car, has been identified as 37-year-old Sarah Sanders of Abingdon, VA.  

Sanders had been a teacher at John Battle High School her entire career and was in her 14th year of teaching, according to the Dr. Chad Wallace Human Resources Director for Washington County, VA schools.  She taught social studies, according to Dr. Wallace. 

According to Virginia State Police spokesperson, Corinne Geller, the vehicle was traveling up a private drive when Sanders lost control.

State troopers were alerted to a car floating in the river on Wednesday evening around 7:47 p.m. When Adwolfe Volunteer Fire Department arrived around 8:00 p.m, they found the car trapped against the support column of Deans Branch Bridge  -- but no Sanders was not inside the vehicle. 

Sander's body was found Thursday morning around 8:50 a.m. -- about two or three miles down the river from the vehicle crash. 



Her body was taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for an autopsy. 

Crews with the Adwolfe Volunteer Fire Department were assisted by a local wrecker service to pull the vehicle from the river. 

Virginia State Police's aviation and tactical teams said they spent several hours on Wednesday searching for the driver.

No other details about the crash have been released at this time, the crash is still under investigation. 

Anyone with information on the accident is asked to contact their local detachment of the Virginia State Police.


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