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HCHS senior dies in Christmas Eve crash
SoVaNow.com / December 27, 2012A Sutherlin teenager and HCHS senior died late Christmas Eve in a single-vehicle accident on Wolftrap Road, near Tuck Airport.
Ryan Thomas Puryear, 18, a member of the Comet baseball team, was one of two passengers in a 2002 Dodge Dakota driven by Alfred Lee Burkholder III of South Boston.
According to State Police reports, the vehicle went off the left side of the road on State Route 716, about one-half mile east of its intersection with State Route 727. After the driver overcorrected, the truck went off the road again, striking several trees. The vehicle then caught fire.
The accident took place at 11:57 p.m. Monday, Christmas Eve.
Puryear, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the back seat. He died at the scene.
A second passenger, a 17 year old juvenile, also was not wearing a seat belt. He suffered serious injuries and was transported first to the local emergency room, then to Duke University Medical Center for treatment.
Burkholder, who like the others was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered serious injuries and was transported to the local emergency room for treatment, police indicated.
Charges are pending. Virginia State Trooper A.D. Dishmon is investigating the accident to determine if speed may have been a factor.
Puryear is one of at least seven persons to die on Virginia highways over the Christmas holiday, with the latest fatality occuring yesterday in Campbell County, where ice and rain made driving treacherous on some roads.
In Halifax County, State Police investigated several accidents over the Christmas break. The latest took place early Wednesday morning, at 5:55 a.m., when a 2005 Dodge Dakota operated by 73 year old John Henry Delaware of Clover struck the side of the 2006 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Matthew Ryan Moore, 28, of Danville. The accident occurred at the intersection of US 360 and State Route 720.
Investigating Virginia State Trooper J. R. Abbott charged Delaware with failure to yield the right-of-way. He estimated damages to Moore’s vehicle at $4,500 and those to the Dodge at $3,500.
In an earlier accident at 6:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, 63 year old Morris Herbert Smith of Nathalie was charged by Trooper Abbott with hit and run, causing a personal injury to a passenger when the 1997 Ford Aspire he was operating ran a stop sign at the intersection of State Routes 668 and 640 in the Cody area. The car continued off the road into the woods, striking a tree. Injured was a passenger, 30 year old Sheryl L. Layne, who was transported for treatment of her injuries.
State Troopers were kept busy by Wednesday’s bad weather as they responded to 99 crashes in the Appomattox Division, which includes Charlottesville, Waynesboro, Staunton, Lynchburg, South Boston and South Hill. Troopers answered a total of 225 service calls on Wednesday alone.
Comments"Never can tell what might come down
You never can tell when you might check out
You just don't know, no, you never can tell
So do right to others like you do to yourself in the big leagues."
Tom Cochrane, "Big League" 1986. For Ryan.
When I saw the funeral signs out on Philpott Rd near the county line Christmas Day night, I had no idea then what had happened. So tragic to lose yet another Comet baseball player. Godspeed, young friend.
- By powerhouse on 12 / 27 / 12
News & Record