“He’s an angel walking with us”: Community remembers Giles County man who died after crash

The incident happened on Labor Day, authorities said

A well-known Giles county man, trusted and loved by many, is being remembered after the Sept. 5 crash

GILES COUNTY, Va. – A Giles County man known for his kindness and his love for country music was hit by a vehicle on Labor Day and died Monday after a weeklong fight in the hospital, Virginia State Police confirmed.

The victim of the crash, 60-year-old William Peoples, was known by most as David and was often referred to as a gentle giant. He could typically be seen walking around the White Gate community.

While David was a man of few words, people recalled him as a person that lived his life out loud.

“It’s really going to hit hard with people because so many people gave him rides or knew him,” said Chelsea Sandridge. She often gave David rides around town or coffee when she saw him walking in the cold.

Virginia State Police said he was hit by a Dodge Caravan in the 2900 block of the Pulaski Giles Turnpike on Route 100, not far from his favorite market, J&J Grocery.

10 News was told the vehicle was unable to avoid hitting David, who was not wearing reflective any clothing.

David was transported to a nearby hospital to be treated, and on Monday, he passed away, according to VSP.

Other community members like Georgia Townsend are remembering David and his impact on their lives.

Townsend and her family moved to the area in the 1970s and said that David and his family lived on her family’s farm.

“He would get out to walk to catch rides because he couldn’t afford to have a car, but he was real humble and a sweetheart. We’re sure going to miss him,” said Townsend.

Townsend said he wasn’t very particular about what he ate, but he loved the burgers and mac & cheese from the market.

And it should be made clear that he was very particular about his music.

“He didn’t say much. He would just say home, but he did say turn up the radio. He loved country music so he would want it up. He liked it loud,” explained Sandridge.

Susan Morris, Director of A. Vest & Son’s Funeral Home, said that David was well-known in the area.

“He made a big impact on this community,” stated Morris. “Every one of us saw him on our daily walk. He was a pretty special fella!”

You can assist the family with funeral expense donations by contacting Morris in any of the following ways:

  • Calling 540-921-2985,
  • Visiting their webpage,
  • Mailing to 2508 Walkers Creek Road Pearisburg, Virginia 24134.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.