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Crash closes Clarksville bridge

South Boston News
SoVaNow.com / July 29, 2014
The old bridge leading into Clarksville has been closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic after a crash damaged the railing.

Monday afternoon, Raven R. Duffer of Oxford, N.C. was heading east on Virginia Avenue when she crashed into the railing of the Highway 58 bridge in Clarksville.

According to Clarksville Police Cpl. Kenneth Johnson, while traveling across the bridge, Duffer rolled down her window. The wind swept in causing a dress she had hanging behind her in the back seat to blow up, wrapping around her face and obstructing her vision. Before Duffer was able to remove the obstruction she felt the wheels of her 2002 GMC Envoy drive up over the curb of the bridge, and as her vision cleared, Duffer said she saw a piece of the railing from the bridge, plunge to the water below.

Duffer was able to regain control of her car and backed it away from the edge of the bridge down onto the street. She emerged from the car uninjured.

Johnson said, speed and alcohol were not a factor in the crash, adding that Duffer escaped serious injury because she was most likely driving at or near the posted speed limit. He speculated that had she been speeding, the velocity would have carried her car over the edge of the road and into the lake below.

No other cars were involved in the crash, and Duffer was cited for failing to maintain control of her vehicle.

Virginia Department of Transportation officials were called in to inspect the bridge. Because of extensive damage, which they estimated at about $18,000 the road will remained closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic through at least Thursday.

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