Va State Police respond to 1,100-plus crashes, 3 fatalities

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Associated Press

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 3 at 9:01 PM

UPDATE 8 p.m.:  State Police said 18-year-old Mika Leclerc of Rustburg died in a weather-related crash in Campbell County around noon.

A State Trooper suffered minor injuries when his patrol car was rear-ended around 4:30 p.m.  The officer was parked along the side of the road in Augusta County investigating a crash. 
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UPDATE 5:30 p.m.:  State Police said Sarah Singleton was killed in a vehicle accident in Brunswick County around noon.  Singleton was a passenger in an SUV driven by April Singleton.  The driver has been charged with reckless driving.  State Police say weather was a factor in the crash.
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UPDATE 1:50 p.m.:  State Police said a 30-year-old driver was killed around 11 a.m. when he lost control of his truck and hit an embankment in Amelia County.  Officials said speed and weather conditions were a factor in the crash. 
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RICHMOND (AP) -- Authorities are reporting mostly minor traffic crashes on Virginia roadways during the height of the winter storm.
 
Virginia State Police troopers responded to more than 1,100 traffic crashes across Virginia between midnight and 6:30 p.m. Monday. The majority of crashes involve damage to vehicles and no injuries.
 
Officials say troopers also have responded to more than 300 disabled vehicles and state police dispatch centers have fielded nearly 3,000 calls for service.
 
Virginia residents from the mountains to the coast braced for a wintry mix of snow and sleet that prompted school closings, flight cancellations and government agency closures Monday.

Driving Tips in Inclement Weather   

  • State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in active use
  • Completely clear all windows and head/taillights of snow/ice before traveling
  • Add extra time to reach travel destination
  • Slow your speed for road conditions
  • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
  • Do not tailgate snow plows or sand trucks
  • Always Buckle up and ensure your passengers are buckled up as well
  • Do not drive distracted
  • If your vehicle begins to hydroplane steer your vehicle in the direction you want your vehicle to go
  • Brake and accelerate lightly
  • Plan ahead before you travel by calling 511 for road conditions or click on http://www.511virginia.org – Do not call 911 or #77, as these are for emergency calls only
  • Have a charged cell phone and extra blankets, water, snacks in case your vehicle becomes disabled
  • Know your location to give to an emergency dispatcher to include the direction of travel in case you need emergency response. Use exit numbers or mile markers when on the interstate as points of reference (For example, Interstate 95 northbound at the 80 mile marker.) 
  • Motorists are also reminded to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. State law includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights
     

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