By Callie Hietala
Community members are rallying in support of the family of a 20-year-old man, identified as Zachary Porter, who died in a crash on Chatham Road in Henry County Monday afternoon.
In addition to numerous posts on social media remembering Porter and offering prayers, support, and condolences to his family, many of which included the hashtag #ZachAttack4ever, there are also several efforts to raise money to help the family with expenses.
On Tuesday, A GoFundMe was organized by Molly Trexler to support Porter’s family.
As of Wednesday morning, donations on the page from 194 people totaled $13,835, surpassing the initial $10,000 goal.
In a message, Trexler said that the situation has been “very devastating,” but she was “blown away by the support of everyone in the county. Our family isn’t at a place to discuss anything right now. Less attention is more as we navigate this loss.”
On Wednesday, The Checkered Pig restaurant announced it was holding a fundraiser for Porter’s family on Monday, March 21 from 5-8 p.m. at its 1014 Liberty Street location.
BTW21 reported that emergency services were dispatched to the scene near the Ward Road intersection at 4:13 p.m.
According to that report, Virginia State Police Sergeant M.C. Davis told media at the scene that a 1996 Nissan Frontier was going westbound on Chatham Road when it ran off the right side of the road.
“It encounters a ditch that had been severely eroded from rain over the years,” Davis told the news outlet. “Very rough ditch. And it tries to reaccelerate and steer out of the ditch, and when it gets back to the asphalt, that steering motion causes the tires to bite, and it starts to upset the vehicle. It (the vehicle) rolls, and when it rolled and it landed, it ejected the driver.”
Paramedics performed CPR on Porter, but he succumbed to his injuries.
Davis told BTW21 that Porter was not wearing a seatbelt.
Patrick & Henry Community College released a statement on Facebook Tuesday which said Porter was a welding student at the college.
“We are shocked and heartbroken to learn of Zachary’s sudden passing,” the post read. “He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Our hearts go out to all his family, friends, and classmates.”
The post included a link to the college’s mental health resource webpage for Porter’s classmates who may want to talk or need help processing the sudden loss.
Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry confirmed that Porter’s father, Scott, is an investigator with the Sheriff’s Office, which was supporting the family “in any way we can.”
“Many of our officers have been to see Scott and his family,” Perry said, “and we will continue to do so throughout this time and through the funeral. Scott is a well-loved and appreciated officer, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family through this.”
Donations to the GoFundMe in support of Porter’s family can be made at https://gofund.me/f312e6fd or by searching Zachary Ty Porter Memorial at GoFundMe.com.