Virginia lawmaker charged with alleged hit-and-run

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Virginia State Rep. Matt Fariss, a 54-year-old Republican charged with hit-and-run, swerved his truck into a woman after they argued, hitting her and leaving her with minor injuries, according to police and the allegations outlined in court documents.

Representing part of central Virginia in the House of Delegates for more than a decade, he faces two felony charges: malicious wounding and involvement in a hit-and-run, as well as misdemeanor reckless driving. Fariss has denied the allegations.

Court documents do not explain the woman's relationship with Fariss.

In a statement provided by an aide, Fariss denied the allegations against her.

"While I may have made some mistakes in my life, these charges are false," he said. "I hope I can clear them up in a court of law."

Virginia State Police said in a statement Tuesday that they were called to investigate a hit-and-run Thursday afternoon in Campbell County, a rural area south of Lynchburg. A 2015 Tahoe crossed the center line, struck an adult pedestrian and then left the scene, police said in the statement.

According to the woman's account, a man witnessed the confrontation and "came down the driveway screaming," at which point Fariss fled.

An investigation led state police to identify Fariss as the driver, according to the statement from VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Fariss turned himself in and met with police at a magistrate's office Friday and was later released on bail, Geller said. Court records show an arraignment scheduled for March 17.

Fariss, from Campbell County, has served in the House since 2012. She represents District 59, which also includes Appomattox and Buckingham counties and parts of Albemarle and Nelson counties.

News of the charges against him was first reported by Cardinal News.

Fariss has faced legal trouble before, according to court records and the news, including over a hit-and-run. That incident, which Fariss pleaded guilty to in 2016, damaged fences, a highway sign and a mailbox, according to an article in News & Advance.

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