‘Serious’ Powhatan County car crash prompts resident to call for change

Local News

POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC ) — A serious car crash in Powhatan County has one resident calling for major change.

Virginia State Police troopers said a pickup truck driver came upon a stopped car Sunday afternoon, ran off the road and hit a tree on Maidens Road.

Now residents are hoping this is a wake-up call to make the road safer.

State police said the 67-year-old man and 7-year-old boy in the truck are both fighting for their lives. Neither of them wore a seat belt and police did not say if speed was a factor. Volunteer firefighters said two helicopters were called in to assist with the crash.

Beth Durbin, who witnessed the aftermath of the crash in front of her home and who helped the little boy, said something needs to be done.

“I wasn’t surprised because there’s been an accident here a year prior for the same reason, but I didn’t really expect the severity of it until we got over there and realized it was pretty bad,” she said.

Durbin moved to Maidens Road in 2012 when the county was less developed. She said she wants the Virginia Department of Transportation to reevaluate the speed limit and put up ‘Hidden Driveway’ signs.

“The volume of people in tractor trailers that are coming down this road is a main concern. The speed limit is a huge concern. It’s 55, but you know they’re doing above 60,” Durbin said.

VDOT said it reviewed the posted speed limit in 2016. However, after a recent request to reevaluate the speed limit along Maidens Road, they will begin another speed study soon.

Durbin started a petition today, so residents can voice their concerns to local leaders and remind drivers that neighbors live here, too.

“Somebody’s going to end up dying, why? Because people don’t want to do something to help us? That’s lazy, it’s dumb,” she said. “I’d really like to see VDOT do something about it, because it’s been three years I’ve been trying to deal with this and no one’s done anything.”

VDOT said the speed study should be completed by early 2022 and preliminary recommendations for safety improvements will come in the spring.

Potential recommended improvements could include additional roadway signs and rumble strips on edge lines and center lines.

Maidens Road is also included in a larger review of rural primary and secondary roads as part of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

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