Two more: Fatalities mount on county roads

The death toll on Albemarle roads continues, with two more people dead, adding up to five fatalities in less than a week, none of them wearing seatbelts.

Scottsville Road was the scene of the latest carnage. Around 10pm November 16, southbound Amy Ouypron, 24, went off the road in her 2006 Nissan Sentra, overcorrected, and swerved into a northbound SUV, according to police.

Ouypron died at the scene at Route 20 and Red Hill Road, and police say alcohol and excessive speed were factors in the crash. The two people in the SUV had non-life-threatening injuries that were treated at UVA Medical Center.

The driver in a November 8 single-vehicle crash on Scottsville Road– Jane McKay, 76, of Palmyra– died November 15 from injuries sustained in the accident, according to a release. Police are still investigating what might have caused her to veer off the road and down an embankment around 6:50pm that Monday.

Neither McKay nor Ouypron were wearing seatbelts, say police, nor were any of the other victims of the past week.

Larry L. Taylor, 59, of Louisa, died in an accident November 11 on I-64. Samuel A. Wells, 25, has been charged with reckless driving in that crash.

And Jessica Marie Lewis, the driver of the November 10 accident that killed her daughter and ex-husband, has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. She was previously charged with driving under the influence.

Lewis, in a wheelchair, appeared on video from the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail November 17 at a bond hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Court.

Citing her lack of previous criminal record, prosecutor Jon Zug agreed to a $5,000 bond on the condition she doesn't drink alcohol or drive. A preliminary hearing is set for February 6.

Updated 1:15pm November 17 with the latest fatality and latest charges.

Updated 1:50pm after the bond hearing.


Guess Professor Lucy's theory is holding up in our community.

" Contrary to popular belief, cities are safer than suburbs and rural areas, according to a new study released at the University of Virginia.

For people who travel from home to work, shop, recreate, attend school and engage in other activities, central cities and small cities in Virginia are the safest, said William H. Lucy, Lawrence Lewis Jr. Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning.

"Real estate surveys report that neighborhood safety is the most important single influence on where home buyers purchase residences," Lucy said. "Most people think about crime when they think about neighborhood safety. But the greatest danger of leaving home is from traffic injuries and fatalities. This research demonstrates that the danger of leaving home is much greater in low-density suburbs and exurbs than in higher-density cities and inner suburbs."

I was just thinking about that study when I saw this story about yet another traffic fatality. And yet we all cling to our personal vehicles and resist the idea of mass transportation, which would be so much safer than driving ourselves everywhere we go...

@ Hoolarious

You're kidding, right?

Because a couple of people crashed their cars in the past week out of the *several hundred thousand* cars on the road in the central Virginia region, therefore we should switch to mass transit?

If anything I'm surprised there aren't MORE car accidents and fatalities on any given day, considering how many cars are on the road. That there were only a small handful of accidents leading to fatalities is nothing short of a miracle.

Also, you're failing to keep in mind that this isn't a big mega urban metropolis where mass transit makes sense. This is Virginia, where everything's spread out, surrounded by farmland and countryside.

Mass transportation? This is certainly the time of the year I don't want to be on a bus or train with everybody and their brother sniffling, coughing and sneezing their germs out all around me. And have you been on a city transit bus lately? They absolutely stink to high heaven, as in body odor smells!

GSOE, you saying my brothers and sisters stink?

Keeping on topic- there seems to be no report as of yet as to what caused this womans accident.

Rt 20 ( Scottsville Rd.) is a dangerous road: narrow, winding, blind curves, and with the high speeds, drunk drivers, and truck traffic -it terrifies me, ( especially at night ). I would never buy property that would necessitate use of this road on a regular basis, and having kids would be a definite deterrent.

Looks like she was DUI according to the County police- fortunately the two young women in the car this one hit are recovering.

How wrong can I be?? very wrong- sorry about that! I was reading about last nights accident on Rt 20.................

I think it is interesting that anyone would dare reference a study at UVa...

Harry, this is yet another fatality from the one in the article above. Now 4 in one week !

Statisically speaking, driving is one of the riskiest things we do. The National Safety Council calculated the lifetime odds of death for selected causes, using 2007 data, and found that an American had a 1 in 88 chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident. That was #4 in the list, following heart disease (1 in 6), cancer (1 in 7), and stroke (1 in 28). And yet people fixate on bizarre, statistically unlikely threats to their life (like terrorists, or being sneezed upon on a bus) as the things to avoid. I just think it's funny how poorly people do at estimating risk. They overestimate their own ability to avoid a danger ("I'm such a good driver with lightning-fast reflexes, I'd be able to magically swerve out of the way of the oncoming SUV!"). They downplay a risk because it seems so mundane ("I drive my car every can that be a risk?"), they misunderstand how statistics work ("a couple of people crashed their cars in the past week out of the *several hundred thousand* cars on the road in the central Virginia region"). And of course, if the thing that is risky is also a thing that is desirable--like a big, comfy, tricked-out American automobile--then the resistance to viewing it as a potential problem is even greater!

A policeman told me there are 6 car accidents
a day in the county. Don't forget the risk
from deer which is huge. Someone at
an auto body shop told me almost 1/2
of their work comes from deer accidents.

Perceived Risk vs. Actual Risk.

We're terrified of airplanes, though they're safer than cars. We drive daily and drive ourselves; common-ness & control feel safe. We fly rarely and never are in control; rarity & lack of control feel un-safe.

The two vehicles I've owned since 1987 have a combined mileage of less than 150,000 miles. This isn't an accident, it's frugality & understanding that my vehicle is a danger zone. I've not deprived myself: my cars have seen both Atlantic & Pacific Oceans multiple times. It's daily mindfulness and combining trips: I pinch driving miles as I pinch pennies: so I have more to spend on more important things. But I realize that I'm seemingly un-American in this habit.

Hoolarious, 36,000 people die each year from the flu. And 11,000 to 12,000 people die in DUI related car crashes each year. So catching the flu bug on nasty mass transportation is a major concern to a lot of folks, including myself.

As far as the 1 in 88 chance of dying in an auto crash, this is why I drive big heavy SUVs. When I get hit headon I want to be the person who survives. Just like the two girls down on 20 South the other night..... if they had been in a little Toyota Corolla they would probably have been killed too.

Gasbag, you do minimize the risk to yourself in the event of a head-on collision (while maximizing the risk to others). You don't minimize the risk of death from roll-over or from losing control of your heavier, less-responsive, physics-challenged vehicle and leaving the road.

Plus, you're wrong that 36,000 die each year from flu. "The 36,000 estimate was presented in a 2003 study by CDC scientists published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)External Web Site Icon, using similar statistical modeling techniques, but only refers to a period from 1990-91 through 1998-99. During those years, the number of estimated deaths ranged from 17,000 to 52,000, with an average of about 36,000. The JAMA study also looked at seasonal influenza-associated deaths over a 23 year period, from 1976-1977 and 1998-1999. During that period, estimates of respiratory and circulatory influenza-associated deaths ranged from about 5,000 to about 52,000, with an average of about 25,000." (From the CDC.) So some years it's higher, some it's lower. Drive that giant battering ram safely, and use facts accurately.

Mass transportation is just as dangerous. Studies show that there is always one psychotic nut riding on every city bus. I ride the city bus all the time, and haven't seen one yet. I will keep looking though.

OK.... 25,000 average.... 36,000 average.... whatever it takes. I still prefer not to be on nasty mass transit vehicles with people coughing and sneezing all around me. I prefer not to be one of the 25,000 to 36,000 that die from the flu each year.

I don't maximize risk to anybody on the highways. I have been driving for 43 years without an at-fault accident of any sort, except one. And this one at-fault accident I did have was in a sheriff's vehicle when I tapped a guy's rear bumper one day while I was distracted by a lovely girl in a bikini. I don't speed. I don't drive reckless. I don't drink and drive. I don't roll vehicles over. I don't run off the roadway. I don't cross center lines and run into other people. If other drivers run into me THEY have maximized their own risks by choosing to run into my full frame heavy metal SUV.

If the county BOS had done its job, they'd have fostered sensible development that would support better mass transit. It is so nice to be able to leave one's car at home, especially when going out to dinner or a show. No need to worry about designated drivers and that sort of thing. UVA has the best mass transit system in town.

GSOE, you sound germ phobic. Have you ever lived anywhere but Mayberry? Buses and subways are not the sick wards you make them out to be.

The people who die from the flu are usually the
elderly and other at risk groups unless there
is a weird epidemic like the one during WW I
that killed younger people.

Carnage means extensive slaughter--like a pile of Confederate dead--rather than merely one dead person--so it is not the correct word to use in this article.

carnage [ˈkɑːnɪdʒ]
extensive slaughter, esp of human beings in battle
[from French, from Italian carnaggio, from Medieval Latin carnāticum, from Latin carō flesh]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Carnage a heap of dead bodies; men slain in a battle, 1667; carcasses collectively.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.