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One dies in Halifax crash as the snow comes down

SoVaNow.com / February 12, 2014
Halifax County is the scene of one of two confirmed traffic fatalities statewide in the midst of the snowstorm that struck Virginia on Wednesday, although it has not been determined if the crash locally was weather-related.

The Virginia State Police reported Wednesday afternoon that the Halifax County accident took place on U.S. 501, less than a mile south of Route 615 outside of Halifax. Raymond R. Pickens, 55, of Nathalie died at the scene.

Police say a 2001 Chevrolet SUV was traveling southbound on Route 501 when the vehicle crossed over the centerline and crashed head-on into a northbound 1993 Ford sedan.

The Ford was driven by Kathy S. Ratcliffe, 60, of Nathalie, wife of Mr. Pickens, who was a passenger in the car. She was transported to Halifax Regional Hospital and then taken to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. for treatment of serious injuries.

The driver of the Chevrolet SUV, Kirsten D. Martin, 21, of Roanoke, was not injured in the crash.

Charges are pending.

Trooper were called to the scene at 2:38 p.m. and restricted traffic on the highway as snow fell heavily. Route 501 was re-opened in both directions by 4:15 p.m.

Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the VSP, said the cause of the crash is under investigation and it has not been determined if the weather was a factor.

The other fatal accident on Wednesday took place in Spottsylvania County on Interstate 95, according to Geller. The Spottsylvania crash was not weather-related.

State Police were busy throughout the afternoon and evening responding to traffic problems in the midst of the snowstorm, but the majority of accidents involved vehicle damage and no injuries, said Geller.

This story will be updated.

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