POWHATAN, Va. (WRIC) — Patrick Quinn and his two teenage sons avoided a potential roadway disaster last week when a driver traveling in the wrong way on Route 60 while entering Powhatan almost collided with their vehicle.
“You know…you never really think about a four-lane highway and seeing somebody come down your two lanes. It was a shocker to the system,” Quinn told 8News, after capturing the alarming moments on a dash camera on Thursday, July 21.
“They could have hit my passenger side, which both of my sons were sitting at,” Quinn said of the wrong-way driver. “It was a quick response from me to turn left,” he added.
One person was killed earlier this year on Route 60, known as Anderson Highway. The individual was one of more than 430 people killed in car crashes during the first half of 2022, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Crash data from the DMV indicates 10 people were killed after crashes on Route 60 over the past five years — seven were killed in 2021 alone.
The numbers indicate that the route — posted at 55 miles per hour — is a dangerous stretch recently. The route was also where Quinn swerved from another wrong-way driver almost three years ago.
“About a mile down that way, [gesturing east toward the Powhatan and Chesterfield county line] it was at night. Me and my wife were coming home, and there was somebody on this same road going that way on the wrong side of the road and I luckily was able to swerve out of the way on that one too,” Quinn said.
He described the string of circumstances as similar to “literally getting hit by lightning twice.”
Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for Virginia State Police, said “fortunately, wrong-way drivers are very rare occurrences and very seldom result in a fatal crash.”
For Quinn, who escaped likely injury twice, he hopes his double-doge of crashes reminds drivers to stay alert on the road, suggesting, “have your head on a swivel, you know?“
Of the seven people killed on Route 60 last year, alcohol, distracted driving, speed and people unbuckled were among the factors that reportedly led to deaths.
The DMV has several safety programs and reminders listed on their website.