Triple tragedy strikes I-85 corridor counties
Three pre-Christmas car crashes in as many days in the Interstate 85 corridor counties of Mecklenburg, Brunswick and Dinwiddie have resulted in loss of life.
The three crashes occurred on Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week and claimed the lives of people age six to 62.
The last of the trio of fatal crashes occurred in Mecklenburg on Saturday morning about 10 a.m. near the state line on Interstate 85, when a Henrico County man ran out of the southbound lanes, into the median, down an embankment and into a the waters of a creek that feeds into Lake Gaston.
The driver, who was alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash, 62-year-old George F. Maida, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Honda Maida was driving came to rest in about eight feet of water and was completely submerged when responders arrived on scene.
This crash warranted a massive response from local agencies as members of South Hill Fire Department, Southside Rescue Squad, Lake Gaston Fire Department and Dive Team, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and Dive Team, Virginia State Police and others turned out to assist in recovering the body and vehicle from the water.
The cause of this crash is currently still under investigation.
The second fatality occurred in Dinwiddie County on Friday and claimed the life of a six-year-old boy from Georgia.
This crash occurred about 8 a.m. near mile marker 60 in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 when a vehicle exited the roadway, overcorrected, struck several objects and overturned several times.
The six-year old child was not properly restrained in a child safety seat at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Additionally, the driver of the vehicle, Larhonda Coleman, who was also not wearing a safety belt, and a passenger in the front seat were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Coleman has been charged with reckless driving, failure to secure a child and failure to wear a seat belt. Police say fatigue was a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.
The first of the three crashes occurred on Thursday in Brunswick County when Lawrenceville resident Angela Green Artis, 56, ran out of the roadway, overturned and ended up in a pond. Artis was pronounced dead at the scene.
The incident occurred about 5 p.m. in the 15000 block of Christiana Highway and warranted response from several agencies, including but not limited to Virginia State Police and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.