- A police car blocks Log Mill Road in Haymarket, where the crash occured. (Photo: Courtney Robinson/ABC7)
A 15-year-old girl is dead and four other teenagers were injured in a single-vehicle car accident in Haymarket early Wednesday morning.
Friends of 15-year-old Kendra Tucker are devastated by the loss, severely impacted by the accident and worried about Longmill Road, the scene of deadly accidents before the one that killed Tucker.
"Too many deaths have happened on this road," said Stephen Worley, a family friend.
Kendra and four other students from Battlefield High School on spring break were traveling on the dark, windy road at midnight. The 2005 Dodge Magnum they were in struck a deer, spun out and careened into a tree.
Tucker was ejected from the car and killed instantly. The other victims were transported to a local hospital. According to authorities, another 15-year-old was in life-threatening condition Wednesday evening, and a 14-year-old in critical condition.
- (Photo: Kendra Tucker)
Friends were trying to grasp the news Wednesday morning. “It was shocking to wake up and just see it on my Facebook and like on the news that she had passed away,” said Paul Marinero, a friend of Kendra.
Grief counselors will be available at Battlefield High School from 12-2 p.m. on Thursday.
Authorities said none of the teenagers in the Dodge were wearing seat belts and that speed was a factor in the crash. The road is notorious for tragedies.
Second deadly crash in less than a year
Today's crash was the fourth accident on this stretch of Logmill Road since 2000. Eight months ago, Yolanda Meffert’s 15-year-old son Dereck Meffert and another Battlefield student were killed on the same stretch of road. Yolanda Meffert stopped by Wednesday to place a cross to mark what would have been Dereck’s 16th birthday tomorrow.
“I don't know what else we can saw to our children to make them realize when they die, we die with them,” Yolanda Meffert said.
Resident pressed officials on road safety before
Residents have pushed to get the road re-engineered to eliminate the hills but said they were told no funding was available. Brad Womach, who lives nearby, said he’s tried to get authorities to do something to prevent the deaths on the road. But so far, according to Womach, nothing has been done.
"It's not the first teenager and I can guarantee you, unless something's done, we'll be here again for another accident,” he said. “It's just the nature of this road and something has to be done to change it."
County officials responded to the complaints about increased traffic on the road by installing signs recommending a "safe speed" of 15 miles per hour.
Crash around midnight on windy road
The Dodge Magnum was traveling westbound when struck a deer on Logmill Road between Mountain Road and James Madison Highway early Wednesday morning. The collision caused the driver to lose control and hit a tree, police said.
The road was closed for the better part of the morning as authorities investigated, but Logmill has since reopened.
The accident took place just after midnight. A witness told ABC7 that she came upon the scene at about 12:30 a.m. and saw two teens in the car, one on the ground and another walking away injured.
"The car was, basically the roof was gone. It was just not a good sight. It definitely looked like somebody was hurt,” said witness Katie Flynn.
One witness, Sonia Correa, came upon the accident and realized how serious the crash was.
“She (victim) was just gasping for air, it was just a horrible scene,” she said. “I can't get that out of my mind. It's horrible.”
Police said one of the victims, a 15-year-old Haymarket girl, remains in a life-threatening condition while a 14-year-old Gainesville girl is in critical condition. The driver, a 18-year-old male, is in stable condition and another 17-year-old male was treated and released from an area hospital.