Author, historian killed in Grove Ave. crash “will be remembered fondly,” says Univ. of Richmond

Picture Credit: Richmond Police Dept.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The victim from Monday’s fatal collision has been identified as Elizabeth Brown Pryor, 64, of the 3200 block of Grove Avenue.

8News has confirmed that Pryor lectured frequently at the University of Richmond and was an award-winning author.

Pryor had worked as a senior diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service as well as teaching at UR, according to the university. She was also an award-winning historian. Pryor is the author of several books on the 19th century, including Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through his Private Letters, which won numerous prizes, including the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the Jefferson Davis Award.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor

The University of Richmond released a statement about Pryor’s death Tuesday afternoon. It reads:

The University of Richmond community is saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Pryor. She was a tremendous contributor to several of our programs, most recently speaking on campus about “Reading Other People’s Mail: Thrilling Discoveries by an Archival Addict.”

She will be remembered fondly.


Dr. Edward L. Ayers

President, University of Richmond


Initially, there was very little information available after the crash. It was only apparent that one life had been lost in the serious wreck.

Authorities say that Pryor was driving a silver Audi eastbound in  the 4400 block of Grove Avenue on Monday afternoon, near Mary Munford Elementary School, when she was struck from behind by a white SUV also driving eastbound. Pryor died at the scene.

Skid marks and a trail of debris spanned a half a block. Witnesses said

“It’s a real neighborhood community where everyone is walking, biking, out with their babies strolling,” said area resident Kerry Byrne. “There’s a school right there. It’s amazing more people weren’t injured.”

The Richmond Police Department Crash Team is consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office on possible charges to the male driver of the striking vehicle. The man’s name has not yet been released.

Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.

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