Highway crashes: 'Economist' bureau chief among two killed

Two people including an internationally renowned magazine writer died in separate incidents on Albemarle roads May 10.

The first of the Thursday accidents occurred around 2:50pm on U.S. 29 South near Covesville when a southbound pickup truck crossed the median and slammed into a northbound tractor-trailer, according to a police release.

Pickup driver Correy O. Morris, 34, of North Garden was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, says Albemarle police spokesman Darrell Byers. Morris was not wearing a seatbelt, he adds.

Seven hours later, a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 64 near the Keswick exit left one man dead and three others injured.

According to Virginia State Police, around 9:30pm a westbound 1995 Lincoln Town Car rear-ended a 2000 Subaru Outback, causing the Subaru to hit the guardrail and roll over onto its roof.

Four people were in the overturned car, and passenger Peter H. David, 60, of Washington, DC, died at the hospital. Afton resident John A. Woodward, 70, was the driver, and he and the other occupants were seriously injured, say State Police.

David was the Washington bureau chief of The Economist magazine, the author of the weekly column on American politics entitled "Lexington."

Lindsey L. Copley, 25, of Richmond, the driver of the Lincoln, was charged with reckless driving. Both he and the people in the Subaru were wearing seatbelts.

Last year, 21 people died on Albemarle County roads, and police say speed, the non-wearing of seatbelts, and alcohol are the most common factors in fatal accidents.

The two new deaths mark the fifth and sixth traffic fatalities in the county.

"It will take more investigation," says police spokesperson Byers, "to figure out the causation factors."

–updated 10:43pm Saturday, May 12 with occupation of Peter David and corrected age; new sub-headline replaces "2 dead in 7 hours in Albemarle." Updated again at 2:49pm on Tuesday the 15th to better clarify the name of the magazine by italicizing it. Also, at this time, a question from the narrator which seemed to point merely to a probable coincidence, was removed.


My bet suburu driver texting or looking at phone while driving -

Can you imagine what it would feel like to kill someone while you were texting ?
Even if this wasn't the cause distracted driving is on the rise, and may soon surpass alcohol as the cause of vehicular homicide.

First, it was the driver of the lincoln who caused the accident, not the subaru driver
And not too many 70 year olds (the age of the subaru driver) text, let alone while diving
Now was he 25-year old driver of the lincoln texting - could be...

Sorry I meant driver of the Lincoln

There's an excellent video produced in Wales that
depicts a car accident resulting from texting
hopefully to serve as a deterrent. It's easy to
find on google but it's appropriately grim.

Kinda went off topic with this text messaging dribble, didn't we? Video this, video that. Do this, don't do that. Just random thoughts that end up passing by the moon on the way out of this galaxy. You're not going to change people's behavior much, laws or no laws. Every red traffic light I have stopped at this past week there has been somebody sitting there text messaging. Often people have to blow their horns to let the people know the traffic light has turned green. Even when pulling away on a green traffic signal, they just keep on finishing that last text message. And the vast majority seem to be 17 to 25 year old females. Combined with the fact that the law is extremely hard to enforce in the first place. The only way to enforce text messaging while driving is to ban cell phone use in vehicles totally. If a cop sees a cell phone in your hand, automatic ticket!! And the law should apply to ANY vehicle moving on a public roadway. There should be no exemptions for anybody.

Surprised none of the local media reported that the 70 year old killed was the Washington bureau chief at The Economist. Doesn't make any of these accidents less horrific. Distracted drinking needs to be stopped. Agree Gasbag.

yes, and Peter David was only 60, not 70....

GSOE- that would include the cops too- correct? They may be among the greatest offenders............

Shouldn't there be a stylebook rule for the font used for the proper name "The Economist?" For example, should it be italicized so people do not wonder if the headline meant "an economist who is a bureau chief" or "a bureau chief from a magazine?" Lots of people would not understand that headline (unless they knew of the publication). See, the proper name of the magazine is "The Economist." The converse of that would be if I called the group "The Cheap Trick" when, in fact, the proper name of the Rockford, Ill.-based rock quartet is "Cheap Trick."

Oh, and while I like Lisa's work, that last paragraph is patently silly. We have an interstate involved and a hilly, high speed state highway involved. Wrecks will happen. I think Byers (who should really be patrolling streets instead of doing Lee Catlin's job) would agree that the cause of two deaths within a few hours is called coincidence.

I hope I have provided a pleasant diversion from an otherwise gruesome story.

R.I.P.: Big Pun

SkipD - you took the words right out of my post!! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see a police officer (State included gassy) that are on their cell phones driving down the road. Really a shame, too, they should be setting an example.

I said..... "And the law should apply to ANY vehicle moving on a public roadway. There should be no exemptions for anybody."

It includes any motor vehicle driven by any person. I don't think any study will ever prove a person in uniform is a better driver than others while using a cell phone. I fear people using cell phones now more than drunk drivers.

If you find yourself in Fort Lee, New Jersey, put your cell phone away while you amble down the city's sidewalks. It is now illegal to text and walk in Fort Lee, and if the cops catch you doing that, they'll issue an $85 jaywalking ticket.

"It's a big distraction. Pedestrians aren't watching where they are going, and they are not aware," Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department, told ABC.

The new law was inspired by tragedy. In 2012, the small town of just 35,000 residents has experienced three accidents in which pedestrians who were walking while texting were killed.

Some avid texters disagree with the law. Fort Lee resident Sue Choe who admits to walking while texting, told ABC, "When I walk, I still look around. I'm not like constantly looking down the whole time." An unnamed texter complained about the high cost of the tickets.

Meanwhile, the police consider such people "dangerous walkers," and have issued 117 tickets--so far.

From all accounts Peter David,who died in this accident was a remarkable man. I appreciated this tribute and find here the account of a life we could all aspire to.


Driving is boring. I can text, email or talk while I am driving just fine, thanks. I am 24 and have been using this technology my whole life. It is the older folks who don't have the ability to multi task and are dangerous. Maybe people over 40 should just take the bus.