ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) – The medical examiner says Sarabeth Hammond died due to blunt force trauma to the head.
Police received confirmation on Wednesday that the body found near Bent Mountain Road on Saturday afternoon was indeed Hammond. Police do believe speed was a factor in the accident.
Hammond was traveling north and in a sharp curve of the road when her vehicle struck a landscaping wall in front of a home in the 9200 block of Bent Mountain Road and then went over a steep hill, according to police.
Police say a caretaker of the home, which is vacant and up for sale, stopped at the home Saturday afternoon and noticed damage to the wall and debris in the yard. Upon further inspection, he spotted the vehicle nearly 150 yards down the heavily wooded slope behind the home and called dispatch at 2:01 p.m.
Hammond was ejected from the vehicle and found 50 yards away from it, according to police. Roanoke County Fire & Rescue personnel recovered her body at 3:55 p.m. and the vehicle at 6 p.m.
The last known signal from Hammond’s cell phone was December 28 at 6:30 p.m. Using cell phone analysis, Roanoke County Police and Virginia State Police conducted an air search Friday across a portion of Bent Mountain but nothing was discovered.