VSP: 2 Deaths, Thousands of Accidents Attributed to Winter Storm
Virginia State Police Press Release
From 4 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 12) through 4 p.m. Thursday (Feb.13), Virginia State Police state police emergency dispatch centers fielded 4,052 calls for service. During that same 12-hour period, state troopers responded to 1,095 traffic crashes and 1,115 disabled vehicles across the Commonwealth.
As of 4:30 p.m., there are 61 traffic crashes actively being worked by troopers statewide.
The majority of crashes investigated by state police continue to have only involved damage to vehicles and no injuries. However, there have been two storm-related fatal traffic crashes. The first occurred Wednesday in Halifax County and claimed the life of a local man. The second fatal crash occurred early Thursday morning in Loudoun County (see below for details).
Virginians are still advised to stay off the roads this morning and through today until conditions improve. Virginians are also advised not to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone for road conditions. Emergency lines must be kept open for real emergencies requiring police, fire, and/or medical response. To obtain information about road conditions (and this applies to media, too), please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org.
Divisional breakdown of traffic crashes from 4 p.m. Wednesday thru 4 p.m. Thursday:
Richmond Division: 307 traffic crashes and 157 disabled vehicles…745 total calls for service.
Culpeper Division: 89 traffic crashes and 129 disabled vehicles…397 total calls for service.
Appomattox Division: 166 traffic crashes and 115 disabled vehicles…472 calls for service.
Wytheville Division: 100 traffic crashes and 157 disabled vehicles…514 calls for service.
Chesapeake Division: 188 traffic crashes and 96 disabled vehicles…609 calls for service.
Salem Division: 151 traffic crashes and 250 disabled vehicles…699 calls for service.
Fairfax Division: 97 traffic crashes and 212 disabled vehicles…633 calls for service.
Loudoun County fatal crash:
At 5:53 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 13), Virginia State Police was called to the scene of a two-vehicle crash in Loudoun County. The crash occurred on Belmont Ridge Road at the intersection of Chesterton Street in Ashburn. A Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) contract worker had pulled his truck off to the right shoulder. He was standing at the rear of the truck near the spreader when he was struck by another VDOT dump truck. The contract worker, Lovo Guevara Geovany Arnoldo, 32, of Vienna, Va., was transported to Loudoun Hospital Center, where he died. The driver of the second dump truck was not injured in the crash.
At this time, the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Driving Tips in Inclement Weather
State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in active useCompletely clear all windows and head/taillights of snow/ice before travelingAdd extra time to reach travel destinationSlow your speed for road conditionsIncrease driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distanceDo not tailgate snow plows or sand trucksAlways Buckle up and ensure your passengers are buckled up as wellDo not drive distractedIf your vehicle begins to hydroplane steer your vehicle in the direction you want your vehicle to goBrake and accelerate lightlyPlan ahead before you travel by calling 511 for road conditions or click on http://www.511virginia.org – Do not call 911 or #77, as these are for emergency calls only
Have a charged cell phone and extra blankets, water, snacks in case your vehicle becomes disabled
Know your location to give to an emergency dispatcher to include the direction of travel in case you need emergency response. Use exit numbers or mile markers when on the interstate as points of reference (For example, Interstate 95 northbound at the 80 mile marker.)
· Motorists are also reminded to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. State law includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.