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‘Worst accident I have seen in a long time’: Police identify 2 people killed in multi-vehicle crash on Thanksgiving

Updated: Nov. 30, 2020 at 8:24 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Charges are pending against the driver of a pick-up truck who blew through a red light, crashing into several other vehicles, killing two people, police say.

Richmond Police responded around 7:54 p.m. to the intersection of Brookland Park Boulevard and Chamberlayne Avenue for a multi-vehicle crash.

“I [saw] smoke and about five or six cars piled up across the street over there,” said Mike Harrison.

Even through the lens of an NBC12 camera, you could see the smoke in the area Thursday night after police said the driver of a pick-up truck blew the intersection on Richmond’s northside.

“That’s the worst accident I have seen in a long time,” Harrison added.

Investigators said the driver of a pick-up truck was headed west on Brookland Park Boulevard when he ran through the red light crashing into two vehicles, including an SUV, which were traveling south on Chamberlayne Ave.

However, Karen White, who lives in the area, said drivers commonly disregard that traffic signal.

“When I go home I gotta dodge cars all the time,” she added.

Investigators said the force of the crash sent the three vehicles into another three cars stopped in the eastbound lanes of Brookland Park Boulevard.

The man and woman in the SUV were killed; the woman - Karen Murphy, a woman in her 50s - died at the scene and the man - Kevin Hancock, a man in his 50s - died later at the hospital.

“You work so hard, you get where you’ve gotta go, and then someone snatches it away like it’s nothing... life means more than that,” White said.

According to Virginia DMV data, since 2015 there have been 18 crashes with injuries at this busy intersection. No fatalities were logged in that time frame until Thanksgiving 2020.

“A person’s life means so much,” White said.

The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

In all, six vehicles were involved. Police said the drivers and passengers in the other vehicles suffered only minor injuries.

Meanwhile, personal effects and damage from the crash remain in the median on Brookland Park Blvd; an eerie reminder of what happened on a holiday meant to bring families together.

“Very sad, very sad,” Harrison said. “My condolences go to their family.”

Officers said charges are pending against the driver of the truck. His name, and the names of the victims, have not yet been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call RPD Crash Team Investigator D. Olson at 804-646-1664 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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