Accident Claims the Life of Berryville Youth

An accident involving a pickup truck Friday June 18th claimed the life of a Berryville youth. At approximately 11:50PM a 1999 Dodge pickup truck traveling eastbound on Route 611 (Summit Point Rd) near Route 340 was involved in a single vehicle accident. Police spokesman Sgt. Tyler said the vehicle was being driven by a minor with three passengers in the cab of the vehicle and one passenger in the bed of the truck.

Police believe the driver was speeding through a turn in the road and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway, crashed into an embankment, struck a tree then rolled over. The passenger in the bed of the truck was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver and passengers were all taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment. The passenger who was ejected from the bed of the truck, 17 year old Aaron Benjamin Shirley, died at approx. 12:40 as a result of his injuries. A female passenger was later flown via MedEvac to Innova Fairfax for treatment.

Aaron Benjamin Shirley - Photo courtesy Enders Shirley Funeral Home

The names of the driver and other passengers have not been released because they are all minors. Speed and alcohol were both factors in the incident. The accident remains under investigation by Trooper K.L. Meyers.

Site of accident that claimed the life of 17-year-old Aaron Benjamin Shirley early Saturday morning

Summit Point Road, Clarke County, Virginia


  1. Mary Nalls says:

    We as parents never plan for tragedy. It is something we are dealt. For what ever the reason for these teens to have been out Friday evening, we must remember that none of them could have envisioned what was going to take place. This is an awful reality of what could happen to anyone of us or our children.

    Aaron was a great athlete. He was full of laughter and love. Our prayers are with his family. My sorrow can never express the loss of their son. The loss of their brother. Their loss of a friend . My deepest sympathy goes out to all the teens involved and their families. May God’s presence be forever with you.
    Mary Nalls

    • Right Winger says:

      According to the Winchester Star the Frederick County Police are involved. Hmmmm, why would they be involved in a case that occurred in Clarke County? Perhaps the party the youths were at was in Frederick County? Perhaps a Frederick County resident who attends Clarke County Schools?

      Interesting, no?

      • No.

        • Right Winger says:

          Does the fact that Aaron had just been picked up sneaking out of his house by the other four to go to the party interest you? He was the only one sober in a truck with 2 rising senior boys (his own classmates and teammates on the football team), and 2 females who are rising sophomores. Knowing the two boys involved, I’m sure the Frederick County police are looking into drug activity now. It’s sad, the only sober kid died.

          • Wow! You have a real wealth of information when it comes to speculation and gossip. Maybe you should launch your own site,

          • Right Winger says:

            Not gossip, I know each who each of those involved are.

          • How you came into possession of the information does not make it gossip. What you choose to do with it (self exaltation as the source of knowledge) makes it unequivocally gossip.

            You can try to hide behind an attempt to disseminate information, but at the end of the day it just lame gossip.

          • Are you trying to impress everyone with the info you’ve uncovered? Wow, you’ve managed to get the scoop. Just let it go. What’s done is done. Now the authorities can deal with it. The families of the victim and all involved are in severe pain. Reading your gossip does not help anyone. I am requesting that no one else post on this subject.

          • Right Winger says:

            I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m sick and tired of people who think they are above others try to hide their dirty laundry but enjoy airing other folks. I hope [redacted] requests that the driver be held FULLY responsible and not get away with anything just because his parents have money.

          • Doug Landry says:

            Ummm…what makes you think the driver’s family has any money? And who’s airing others’ dirty laundry? That would be you, for sure. You seem to get some sort of sick satisfaction out of stirring the pot and provoking animosity. That’s a pretty sad reflection on you and your jealous, small-minded antics.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            RW, you have a tactless way of dropping these salacious, gossipy nuggets on here. For what purpose? To prove you know more than others? You’re fillin up pixels with stuff that you really have no business posting, for seemingly no purpose but to stir the pot, and make yourself look small-minded and petty..

          • Right Winger says:

            Hey Lonnie, Jim, and James, the folks that run this site are fully capable of preventing any posting they deem inflammatory/derogatory/or a personal attack in nature.

            So far, they haven’t.

            Deal with it. I don’t spread gossip.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Oh, but you do. You post things, alleging them to be true because you “know each who each of those involved are.” So? At this point in the storyline, what good does it serve, to prove that you “know” details about these teens? Just because you “can” post something, true or not, doesn’t me that you “should” post it.

            By tattling on these teens, you are indeed spreading gossip. By persisting to do so, you continue to make yourself look small. Perhaps that is why CDN persists in letting you spout off. The only discredit you bring about is to yourself.

          • I believe we (others who comment) and the thumbs down brigade are dealing with it quite well.

            We know what you are and your comments are read through that lens.

          • Right Winger says:

            You think I care about your “thumbs down brigade?”


            I only care about doing what’s right, and allowing these teens who made ADULT decisions and ADULT mistakes to go on without proper punishment just because of who their Mommy or Daddy is is not right.

          • Letsthinkaminute says:

            It’s sad anyone died. It’s sad anyone was injured. It’s sad it happened at all! How do you know what the police are doing in Frederick County? Stop assuming and get your facts before making your comments!

      • Letsthingaminute says:

        Hmmm! Maybe some items at the state police area office needed to be retrieved for evidence and a warrant to obtain these items needed to be issued.

  2. Shelli Smalling says:

    WE never understand why God allows things to happen, but He always has a reason.

    I pray that God will continue to give the surviving teens peace during this time. This is a time to continue to encourage each other; not to break each other down. For whatever reason God has given you a second chance. Use this chance to always do good and obey. I pray that each teen will use this accident to teach other teens what not to do.

    To Aarons’ Parents, Family and Friends,

    I pray that God will continue to give you strength during this time. I pray that he will be the lifter of your bow down head. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you!

    A friend of the Driver.

    God Bless!


    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      God didn’t allow this to happen. He gave us all the free will to make our choices. These teens chose to attend a party. They chose to drink alcohol. They chose to get in a truck with a driver who was intoxicated. They chose to break the law regarding no passengers under 18. One chose to unwisely sit in the bed of a truck being driven recklessly along a winding country road by a drunk driver. The driver chose to exceed the speed limit.

      The laws of nature enacted by God @ Creation cannot be sidestepped. You break ’em, there are consequences to that choice. All of their choices that night add up to one senseless tragedy.

      God is, though, in the response of this community to the grieving parents, and the teens who survived, and those who knew Aaron. He can grant His Peace to comfort them. He can also grant His Wisdom to the teens who will walk away from this tragedy, and all those who knew Aaron, to help them remember this and choose to not drink, and to choose to not ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking. That is where God is. May the teens heed His voice.

      • Jeane Cromer says:

        Lonnie, you are correct that these teens made choices, but only one: they chose to drink alcohol.

        After that, all of their choices were made through a neurological impairment (effects of the alcohol).

  3. Connie Lyons says:

    How many young people are going to be lost to their families, their communities and the world before we stop licensing 16 year old children?

    • Right Winger says:

      Driving inexperience had nothing to do with this tragedy. Drinking alcohol and driving did.


  4. Only the Good Lord above knows the time on earth that each of us have.

    Let all of us not forget the dash.

    May God Bless his family and friends during this time of tragedy.

  5. Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Shirley family!

  6. Thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved!
    Let us each remember to hold our children closer.

  7. Travis Goodwin says:

    This tragedy resulted from several bad choices on the part of those teens in that truck. They’re not the first ones to make choices like that, but fate happened to catch up to them. Let’s pray that those who walked away from that accident – and their friends – learn from this tragedy.

  8. Concerned says:

    Throughout this tragedy I have read several times how many feel the survivors of this accident should not be judged. I feel that also as it is none of our right to judge. However, these young people should be held responsible for their actions. Did any of them discourage the driver from getting behind the wheel? Or call a parent to intervene in this situation? God bless everyone of them, but no matter how their lives go on they have a second chance. Aaron does not. Judge them no, punish each and everyone of them? Yes. For their sakes as well as the rest of the teenagers in this community.

    • Concerned: I can appreciate that you evidently feel very validated and capable of playing judge and jury to this group of kids who made a very poor choice. I lost my Godson 3 years ago in a traffic accident that also took the life of his best friend. A third friend was involved in the crash and the way his life has been affected cannot be conveyed. Simply by being an indirect part of that horrible night, he has received his life sentence. I can say this with full confidence; when you state that we should ‘punish each and every one of them,’ you have no idea of what you speak. I pray that you nor any member of your close family or friends never experiences the tragedy that these children and families now have to live with. I pray that the coldness in your heart is lifted before your time comes to meet your maker. Perhaps if you didn’t hide behind Cowardice disguised as “Concern,” someone could be there to show you the error of your thinking.

      Praying hard for all of the survivors and their families. I know. The best you can do for them right now is to Be There. Ignore those who pass judgement. Their time will come.

      • Mayor Quinsby says:

        Gwen, [if that’s your real name] it seems to me that YOU are passing judgement on “concerned” for passing judgement. Your argument doesn’t seem to hold much water. You lost a Godson? Really? My dog died last year and I stepped on a spider the other day. Do us all a favor, if you want pray for something….pray for a law that raises the driving age to 18. Kids in high school should not be driving.

        • Lonnie Bishop says:

          And all your knee-jerk opinion does is waste pixels on this page.

        • Mayor: Interesting . . . would this law of not being able to drive until you’re 18 be adhered to more than the law of not drinking ANY alcohol until you’re 21? If so, I think we should find a way to reword the drinking age law so it is actually followed. As for judging, well aren’t you judging all 16 and 17 year olds to say that none of them is responsible enough to drive? There are many teenagers who are extremely responsible. For the record, I think your dog is in a better place but, do feel bad for the spider.

  9. Concerned Mom says:

    We, as a community, need to spend more time with our kids, letting them know how important it is that they are traveling safe…that we CARE that they don’t ride in the back of a pickup truck…that we CARE that they don’t have too many passengers and are not distracted when they are driving…that we CARE that they don’t drink and drive or ride with someone who is. Then we need to offer them alternatives, such as being just a phone call away without any questions. I have. Have you?

    This loss is a loss to not only Aaron’s family, but also his friends, the families of the other kids involved in the accident, the school and the community. My heart goes out to all of them. Please don’t let Aaron’s death be in vain. Please always remember him and remember that driving and riding safe is what is important, no matter the situation.

    Perhaps if there is to be punishment, maybe the kids involved in this accident could talk to other teens outside of this community who have already felt the impact of Aaron’s death and tell those who have not felt the impact of their regrets and what they would do differently, maybe they can help to prevent this from happening again.

  10. Concerned says:

    Gwen. I am sorry you feel that way, but you really jumped the gun. At a point in my life I was one of the kids in the car. Of the three of us in the vehicle at the time, one of us went on to repeat the incident again several years later. The other two of us spent years addicted to both drugs and alcohol. I have been lucky enough to turn my life around and one of the ways that I did was by accepting responsibility for what I had done and volunteering endless hours at several drug rehabilitation groups. I can not express enough how many times I wish someone would have shown us the consequences to us for those actions that night. I truly believe I would not have carried the guilt around nearly as much for years and years. I would not have constantly wondered when I was going to pay the price because I did not at the time. I could quote many biblical phrases here to show that while we are not to judge we do need to discipline. I am not proposing to lynch these teenagers in the town square. I proposing that they do some type of community service or enter some type of program that will to help both themselves and others. For someone so against judgement you quickly judged me. As for concerned, I am. That is not an act of cowardness, that is me expressing my opinion without having those around me have to deal with any fall out from people like you. At no point did I attack those kids in the vehicle, I just said so they understand that sometimes being sorry does not change the permanent. Take care.

  11. I feel very badly for the parents, the siblings, and all the friends of these boys, especially Aaron. I too lost a 21 year old son due to his own DUI accident. First off the family can NEVER blame themselves. The Number ONE cause of death with the kids aged 16 – 24 today is, ALCOHOL Related Accidents.
    I have come to find my son started to drink around the same age. He was a basketball starter with the Local High School in his Sr year. Brandon WAS everybody’s friend. We had over 600 in attendance at his viewing, most were kids his own age
    The problem we have is, (probably not in these kids case) kids are shown that drinking is OK. It’s fun. Many parents let them drink at home so they don’t have to worry about them being out ! YEA RIGHT . That is a Fairy Tail. They are only teaching those kids to Drink. Most laws are 21 in our country. I live in Pa. Underage drinking is one of the Less Enforced Laws we have on the books.
    Since the death of my son Brandon, I have made it my life to talk to as many kids (and Adults) that I can about the dangers of Alcohol. I talk at local probation offices for DUI offenders, at High Schools and am working to get into Universities. (3 so far) I use a very hard approach. I use a PowerPoint with pictures from the accident site that morning and pictures of his mothers SUV both the next morning and the photos from the State Police evidence files. I even have a picture of his body (covered in the distance) laying on the road way. Brandon had a BAC of .253 The bar tender, his new “Friend” said when he left, he was FINE ! He made it 3 miles. 🙁 For more on what I do, check my web site

    • Fact Checker says:

      My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My sons are now coming of age and I am petrified of the ramifications of their possible wrong choices. My hope is that their older mentors will show them the way because there are so many kids who are still role models. Bless ’em.