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UPDATED: Local equine vet killed in crash near Middleburg

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Dr. Katy Krista

Dr. Katy Krista

State police say a 21-year-old driver crossed the center line on U.S. 50 in Friday’s fatal crash that claimed the life of a veterinarian from the Piedmont Equine Practice.

Kathryn Morton Krista, 41, of Bluemont, died at the scene of the two-car collision, which happened at 3:06 p.m. near the intersection of St. Louis Road outside Middleburg.

Wilian A. Mendoza, 21, of Stephens City, was traveling westbound on U.S. 50 in a 2004 Dodge SUV when he crossed the center line and struck Krista’s 2016 Ford Explorer head on, said Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler.

Krista suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Mendoza was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital with unknown injuries.

Trooper T.B. Ralls is investigating what caused the Dodge to veer out of the westbound lanes. No charges have yet been filed.

"Katy will be deeply missed by all of us and all that knew her," the Piedmont Equine Practice said in a weekend Facebook post. "We will work everyday to honor her memory. We ask that you keep her family in your thoughts."

Krista was an ambulatory veterinarian at Piedmont Equine on Zulla Road in The Plains, where she took a particular interest in emergency care, gastroenterology and geriatric horses, according to a biography on the practice's website.

A native of Kansas, Krista graduated from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 and practiced equine medicine in Kentucky and Florida before completing an internship in equine surgery and emergency care in Leesburg, where she pursued residency training in equine surgery.

Krista lived with her husband Ben, their Scottish terrier, Henry, and two horses -- Milton and Harry -- in Bloomfield.

Stay with for updates.

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(1) comment


Police are looking into what caused the truck to "veer" into the oncoming lane? Really?? From what I've read, eyewitnesses have stated that the drive of the truck crossed a double-yellow line in an attempt to pass the two vehicles ahead of him.

I've seen this happen more times than I care to remember - twice when I myself was the poor near-victim due to some idiot in a hurry & not giving one whit about road laws.

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