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Midlothian truck driver charged in chain reaction crash

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
The crash scene in Riverdale. / July 30, 2020
A Midlothian tractor trailer driver has been charged with reckless driving after his rig rolled through the stoplight at Riverdale’s busy 501-58 intersection and collected six other vehicles in a crash-reaction crash Wednesday.

Two people were transported to the Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital ER with injuries from the crash, which happened around 10:30 a.m. The rig that set off the wreckage was carrying a cargo of plywood which spilled into both 501 and 58 when the truck hit a second tractor trailer. Five more vehicles were caught up in the mayhem in quick succession, resulting in minor injuries to a second driver. No one else was harmed.

Barry D. Henderson of Midlothian, 38, the operator of a 2003 Freightliner Columbia owned by Whitehead Elite Transportation LLC of Red Oak, indicated that the brakes on his rig failed, causing his rig to roll through a red light. Henderson’s truck struck a second rig, a 2016 Kenworth operated by David Phillips of Pamplin. The Kenworth is owned by CWT Inc. of Drakes Branch.

Phillips, 57, was injured and taken to the local ER. The extent of his injuries is not known.

Four cars hit loose plywood scattered onto 501 and 58, and a fifth car was struck by one of the vehicles attempting to swerve out of the path of the spilled cargo. One driver, Glenn Blackwell Jr. of South Boston, 79, suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.

The seven vehicles involved and damage estimates are as follows:

» The 2003 Freightliner, operated by Henderson, sustained $9,500 in damages.

» The 2016 Kenworth, operated by Phillips, received $9,900 in damages.

» A 2001 Ford Taurus, operated by George Gregg of Roxboro, N.C., sustained $500 damages. Gregg, 71, was uninjured when his car struck the plywood.

» A 2016 Dodge Caravan, operated by Melissa Frazer, 49, of South Boston, sustained $2,500 in damages. Fraser also was not injured.

» A 2015 Honda Civic, operated by Paul Smith Jr. of Halifax, 36, sustained $1,000 in damages. He was not hurt.

» A 2009 Ford Focus, operated by Blackwell, sustained damages of $1,500.

» A 2017 GMC Terrain, operated by Jacqueline Hampton of South Boston, 58, sustained $500 in damages. Hampton was not hurt.

Hampton’s vehicle was struck by the Honda that Smith was piloting as he attempted to steer his sedan out of the way of the plywood debris in the highway.

In addition to reckless driving, Henderson was charged with failure to maintain control of his rig by investigating State Trooper D.T. Spencer.


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