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Four die in recent crashes

SoVaNow.com / October 09, 2019
A spate of auto accidents over the past two weeks has claimed the lives of four Mecklenburg County residents. Three of the mishaps occurred in the Chase City area, while a fourth wreck in neighboring Halifax County caused the death of a Buffalo Junction man.

Curtis F. Glenn Jr. of Chase City, James B. Simmons of La Crosse, Zeniah N. Freeland of Clarksville and Danny A. Stanley Jr. of Buffalo Junction all died as a result of crashes between Sept. 26 and Oct. 5.

Glenn, 25, died on Thursday, Sept. 26 after his vehicle struck an apartment building near the intersection of Berry and North Marshall Streets in Chase City. Glenn was pronounced dead at the scene and the 2000 Dodge Stratus he was driving was declared a total loss.

The single-car accident occurred around 10:15 p.m. and remains under investigation, according to the Chase City Police Department.

Prior to his death, Glenn was employed by Cracker Barrel restaurant in South Hill, and in his off-hours, he enjoyed fishing and playing basketball.

A funeral was held Saturday at his home church in Charlotte Court House, St. Louis Baptist Church, with Rev. Henry L. Fleshman Jr. officiating.

Four days after that fatal crash, 81-year-old James B. Simmons of La Crosse died from his injuries after he drove his car into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer at the intersection of Route 658 and Route 47 near Chase City.

Simmons was transported to VCU Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries later that night.

According to a report filed by Virginia State Police Trooper Dale Sturdifen, the accident took place around 3:19 p.m. on Sept. 30 when Simmons failed to stop at a posted stop sign before turning north onto Route 47 from Route 658. A truck rig heading north on Route 47 was unable to avoid Simmons’ 1992 Toyota Camry and struck the vehicle on the driver’s side. The tractor-trailer then ran off the right side of the highway and came to stop in a field.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured in the crash and was wearing a seat belt at the time.

A third crash, this one on Oct. 5, claimed the life of 18-year-old Zeniah N. Freeland of Clarksville.

A spokesperson for the Virginia State Police said the crash occurred 1:05 a.m. on Trottinridge Road (Route 609) less than a mile north of Route 49. Trooper M.L. Gardner is investigating.

Freeland was heading north on Route 609 when the 2002 Jeep Liberty she was driving ran off the right side of the road and struck a tree. She was partially ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Freeland graduated from Bluestone High School earlier this year where she was remembered for her love of Greek mythology, reading, her music and TV shows, and hanging out with friends.

A funeral will take place Saturday, at 2 p.m.at the chapel of C. H. Harris Funeral Home, with District Elder Kenyatta Evans officiating. Her family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

This accident, as well as the one that resulted in the death of Glenn, remain under investigation as police continue to probe the causes of the two separate crashes.

The fourth fatal wreck in recent days took place in Halifax County, on U.S. 58 near Ramble Road, several miles east of the Town of South Boston. In that Oct. 2 mishap, Danny A. Stanley Jr., 26, of Buffalo Junction was the driver who died in the crash.

According to Virginia State Police, Stanley approached a VDOT work vehicle too quickly while driving on Route 58 on a Wednesday afternoon. According to VDOT crew members who described what they saw to investigating State Trooper J.A. Wilmoth, Stanley’s vehicle swerved right to miss the VDOT truck, but overcorrected. His pickup truck started sliding sideways before rolling over at least two times when it hit the dirt in the median. It finally came to rest on its roof in the east bound lanes of 58.

Stanley was ejected from the vehicle and later died while undergoing emergency surgery at Duke University Hospital in Durham.

A passenger in the vehicle, 19-year-old Michael Thomas Martin of Skipwith, also was ejected from the vehicle and was flown to Duke for treatment. As of Friday, Martin was still in critical condition at the Duke Intensive Care Unit.

At the time of the crash, VDOT crews were working on the road and using the large sign with a flashing arrow to direct drivers to change lanes. No one working on the VDOT crew was injured.



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