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Elsewhere in Southside, five killed by flash floods

SoVaNow.com / October 15, 2018
The death toll from Hurricane Michael has risen to at least 18 people after the Category 4 storm devastated parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast and cut a path of destruction through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

Of those deaths, five are in Southside Virginia.

On Saturday around 11:30 a.m., searchers found the second victim in a Charlotte County flash flood tragedy — Ruby S. Allen, 62, of Eureka, who was riding in a vehicle that was overcome by rising waters Thursday night on Mount Harmony Road between Charlotte Courthouse and Keysville. Allen and her son, Ronnie Allen Jr., 36, also of Eureka, both drowned after desperately attempting to cling to a bridge railing over a swollen creek.

Their vehicle had gotten stranded on the bridge and Allen, her son and grandson were forced to make an emergency exit. Arriving on the scene shortly before 7:30 p.m. Thursday, members of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were able to pull the 17-year-old youth — Allen’s grandson and Ronnie Allen Jr.’s son — to safety. The other members of the family were swept away. Ronnie Allen’s body was found by searchers overnight.

In Danville, two motorists died in floodwaters Thursday afternoon and evening. One of the victims, William Lynn Tanksley, 53, of Danville, drowned around 5 p.m. when his vehicle was consumed by a flash flood at the 100 block of Colonial Court. The second victim was Jennifer Bjarnesen Mitchell, 60, of Danville. She died around 10:20 p.m. Thursday after she was trapped inside her vehicle on Goodyear Boulevard

The area’s fifth fatality was a Dry Fork man who died when his vehicle was swamped by fast-moving floodwaters on Sandy Creek Road, in Pittsylvania County’s Mount Hermon area. A Virginia State Trooper, county deputy and an onlooker attempted to rescue James E. King, 45, but the rushing water was too powerful and he drowned. His remains were found downstream seven hours after the 3:30 p.m. incident.



Virginia has accounted for six of the reported 18 deaths from Michael, with the other storm-related fatality involving a Hanover County firefighter.



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