Win­try ef­fects

Three fa­tal crashes re­ported on Vir­ginia high­ways since Satur­day.

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRID­GET BALCH [email protected]­patch.com (804) 649-6601 Twit­ter: @brid­get­balch

Of­fi­cials warned Vir­gini­ans to brace for icy con­di­tions overnight Sun­day and into Mon­day morn­ing fol­low­ing hun­dreds of traf­fic crashes across the state and power out­ages af­fect­ing thou­sands in the Rich­mond area.

State troop­ers had re­sponded to 324 traf­fic crashes and 196 dis­abled ve­hi­cles through­out the state on Sun­day, as of 5:30 p.m. The ma­jor­ity of the crashes — 107 — oc­curred in the Rich­mond re­gion.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing three fa­tal­i­ties, in­clud­ing one of­fi­cials de­ter­mined to be re­lated to the weather.

Ron­ald Har­ris, 73, of Ge­or­gia, died af­ter he lost con­trol of his ve­hi­cle while trav­el­ing on In­ter­state 81 in Pu­laski County on Satur­day night. His ve­hi­cle was struck by two trac­tor-trail­ers. Both of the other driv­ers had non-life-threat­en­ing in­juries and were trans­ported to a hospi­tal.

In Brunswick County, a 16-year-old pas­sen­ger died af­ter a ve­hi­cle driven by an­other 16-year-old crashed into a tree shortly af­ter 4 a.m. Sun­day. The driver had life-threat­en­ing in­juries and was taken to VCU Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Rich­mond. State po­lice de­ter­mined that al­co­hol and speed con­trib­uted to the crash and that nei­ther teen was wear­ing a seat belt.

Stephanie D. Jef­fer­son, 27, died af­ter she lost con­trol of her car on In­ter­state 64 in Nor­folk and struck an­other car. The other driver was not in­jured. Po­lice said speed con­trib­uted to the crash and that Jef­fer­son was not wear­ing a seat belt.

On Sun­day morn­ing, more than 12,000 Rich­mond-area cus­tomers were with­out power, but by Sun­day evening, Do­min­ion En­ergy re­ported that the num­ber was down to 8,850. In North­ern Vir­ginia, 1,541 cus­tomers were with­out power, and 6,788 were with­out power in South­side Vir­ginia.

The Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion urged driv­ers to use ex­tra cau­tion Mon­day as rain, ice and light snow were ex­pected to hit Rich­mond.

Crews were de­ployed to treat icy roads with salt and sand and plow slush as needed head­ing into the Mon­day morn­ing com­mute.

“Be­cause of the var­ied types and amounts of pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the Rich­mond Dis­trict, driv­ers are en­cour­aged to closely mon­i­tor their lo­cal fore­casts and ad­just travel to con­di­tions in the area Mon­day morn­ing,” VDOT said in a news re­lease.

Of­fi­cials an­nounced that pub­lic schools in Rich­mond and the coun­ties of Ch­ester­field, Hen­rico, Hanover and Powhatan will be closed Mon­day.

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