Fatal crashes: Three deaths in 14 hours
Two separate crashes have claimed three lives in Albemarle County since Thursday night, and two others are in serious condition. According to police, none of the victims were wearing seatbelts.
A Kia Optima burst into flames on Half Mile Branch Road in Crozet at 7:50pm November 10, an incident that appears to be the result of alcohol and excessive speed, say police. The car driven by Jessica Lewis, 36, of Crimora, struck a large tree south of King Family Vineyards, according to Sergeant Darrell Byers with Albemarle police.
Lewis was partially ejected from the car. Passengers Amber Leigh Johnson, 20, a graduate of Western Albemarle High School, and Michael Wayne Johnson, 40, of Crozet, were not in the car when it caught fire.
"I don't know how they got out," says Byers. They were flown to UVA Medical Center, where both died of their injuries. Lewis remains in serious condition and has been charged with driving under the influence. Additional charges may be pending.
Speed may have been a factor in the collision on eastbound Interstate 64 at exit 120 Friday at 10:25am. A 1997 Honda Civic and a 1985 Ford Ranger collided in the far left lane, causing the pickup to roll over at least three times, according to the Virgina State Police.
Larry L. Taylor, 59, of Louisa, the driver of the truck, was partially ejected and died at the scene. His cousin, D.J. Taylor, a passenger, was completely ejected from the truck and taken to UVA Medical Center with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Charlottesville resident Samuel A. Wells, 25, the driver of the Honda Civic, was not injured. The investigation continues and charges are pending, say State Police.
Of the 12 traffic fatalities in Albemarle in 2010, seven of those were not wearing seatbelts, according to police.
Updated November 14 with the names of those involved in the I-64 collision.