INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY TRAFFIC CRASHES CLAIM TEN LIVES IN VIRGINIA

RICHMOND – Virginia is experiencing a disturbing trend on its roadways – increased traffic crash fatalities – with the state on pace to have another unfortunate increase in 2021. Preliminary reports indicate 10 individuals died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways during the July 4 holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2, 2021 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2021. Four of the crashes involved motorcycles and a fifth was an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Since Jan. 1, 2021 through July 7, 2021, preliminary reports indicate 399 lives have been lost to traffic crashes in Virginia, compared to 395 during the same time period in 2020.

The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Botetourt, Campbell, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Mecklenburg, Patrick and Stafford and the City of Newport News. The fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the counties of Botetourt, Essex, Fairfax and Stafford. The Patrick County crash involved the ATV.

“Virginia State Police substantially increased our presence on Virginia roadways this past weekend, and yet, we still have people flaunting the safety of others on the road by driving at excessive speeds and under the influence,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We are at the height of the summer travel season, which is why we need every Virginian committed to being a safe, responsible driver. Please put as much attention into driving, buckling up and complying with speed limits as you do with planning your summer getaway. You and Virginia’s safety depend on it.”

During the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) four-day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers arrested 61 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 4,025 speeders and 1,434 reckless drivers, and issued 510 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 669 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,550 disabled/stranded motorists. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.

Vigilance of Virginia State Troopers  Kept  Roads Safe This Independence Weekend

Division V Troopers (area that encompassed the 7 major cities and 14 surrounding counties of Hampton Roads) participated in an on-going effort to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities in Hampton Roads during the 2021 Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

As part of the national and state-sponsored program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impared driving, speed, and failing to wear a seatbelt, Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) went into full effect Friday (July 2, 2021) through midnight Monday (July 5, 2021). During this time period troopers summoned/arrested a total of 2673 drivers, 1089 citations for reckless driving, 12 arrests for driving under the influence, 75 citations for seatbelt violations, investigated a total of 113 traffic crashes with 1 fatality, and assisted 116 motorists. A motorist was cited for speeding 134 MPH/60 MPH in Chesapeake, in Sussex County another was cited for 100MPH/55MPH, and in Virginia Beach another motorist was cited for 120MPH/55MPH (see attached photos).

Throughout the holiday weekend, troopers were not only busy keeping roads safe, but also arresting those wanted in outlying cities as well;

On July 2nd, a trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Honda sedan for traveling the wrong direction on Route 301, Greenville County. The vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit entailed with speeds not exceeding 35MPH. With the assistance of other troopers, all five occupants were detained. The driver, 31 year old Kea Michelle Wilson, was charged with driving under the influence and eluding/misdemeanor. Her male passenger, 34 year old Rashard Witcher, was arrested for outstanding warrants on file out of Henrico & Chesterfield, and was charged with false information to law enforcement and failure to identify. The other male and female passenger along with a 6 year old child, were not injured in the incident, and left the scene without incident. Wilson and Witcher were both taken to Southside Regional Jail. 

On July 4th, at approximately 8:04 p.m., a trooper patrolling Sussex County attempted to make a traffic stop on a Honda Odyssey that had an expired inspection sticker on Route 301 southbound, south of Route 605. The driver, 43 year old John Alonzo Roach, refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. Roach stopped the vehicle at Allen Road and Wyatt Mill Road in Greensville County and fled on foot into the property woodline of Greensville Correctional Center. With the assistance of Southampton Sheriff's Office K-9 units, Roach was located and placed under arrest. Roach was wanted out of Petersburg for malicious bodily injury & firearm possession/transport by a convicted felon. Roach was also charged with no operators license, felony eluding, trespass on state property, and expired inspection.