VIRGINIA BEACH -- Tuesday night, many people were part of a benefit for the families of the victims of a deadly crash on Sandbridge Road last week.
Money from the fundraiser at Shaka's on Atlantic Avenue went to the "Angels in Heaven" fund started by a family friend. The benefit asked people for a $5 donation to help the Proctor, Bayot, and Gurney families. The night included raffles and music.
The crash on Sandbridge Road last Wednesday has people in the area pushing again for big changes to the road. Police say a car driven by 38-year-old Marlo Bayot went off the road and she over-corrected. Her car went into the oncoming lane and struck a pickup truck. She and six children were in the car. One child died at the scene; two other children and Bayot at the hospital.
Bayot's fiance, Glen Proctor, who is the father of most of the children involved was among the people who attended the benefit.
"I've known Glen since high school," explained Mariano Marquez, one of the people responsible for the fundraiser. "As soon as I found out, you know, being a father, myself, it just really touched me. It affects the whole community as well as the families that are involved."
"I knew Cheyenne, 'cause she was always one grade ahead of me, and we used to always talk at breakfast and lunch and stuff, and Use to hang around with her," Sherrell McCants told 13News Now. "It was like sad, because she was so young, and a lot of people losing their lives any time, any way is really sad."
According to an affidavit filed in court, evidence at the scene also showed that Bayot was traveling 62 mph in a 35 mph zone immediately prior to the crash. Bayot, 14-year-old Cheyenne Desire Patricia Gurney, 13-year-old Gabriel Kalani Proctor and 10-year-old Cherish Lailani Gurney died of their injuries. Three children still are in the hospital.
The crash on that two-lane road has people in the area pushing again for big changes to the road. Monday night at the Sandbridge Civic League meeting, residents discussed what could be done to improve safety.
"The accident the other day was just more than I could take," said Crystal White, who attended the civic league meeting Monday for the first time in 31 years.
Ideas included extending the shoulder or creating shoulder space where there is none, extending no-passing zones or pushing again for the extension of Nimmo Parkway into Sandbridge Beach. The four-lane road extension has failed in the past due to environmental restraints and city funding.
Another complaint is the lack of lights on the dark stretch of road. Drew Lankford with Public Works says it would cost $230,000 per mile to light the road. Reflective signs are about $50 each, he added.
Members of the civic league adopted a resolution to send to Virginia Beach City Council saying the people of Sandbridge Beach support improvements to Sandbridge Road and further investigation of the Nimmo Parkway extension.
The benefit Tuesday night at Shaka's raised $2,300 for Angels in Heaven, bringing the fund up to more than $10,000.