Richmond-area sees 3 fatal crashes, 2 involving teens, in less than a week

Two out of the three crashes involved teenage victims
A memorial is now growing on Hull Street for a Huguenot student who died in a car crash Friday, September 22.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -A memorial is growing on Hull Street for a student who died in a car crash on Friday, Sept. 22.

The Richmond area has now seen three fatal crashes in less than a week, two of which had high school students behind the wheel. It’s now bringing concerns about teen drivers in the area, and experts are urging parents to discuss safety.

“Now, to again lose another student is really all too much,” Richmond Public Schools Board Member Jonathan Young said.

Young says the car involved in Friday’s crash had four high school in it. The accident happened just before 3 p.m. when police were called to the 4500 block of Hull Street near Southwood Apartments. Candles remain lit there days later.

This comes after a Hermitage High School student died in a crash on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 19. Two other teens were in that car, too.

A wreck the next day in Chesterfield killed another driver after their car ran into a tree.

Morgan Dean with AAA says crashes like these can be heartbreaking for families.

“If you have a young person who’s driving, talk with him about the expectations of being on the road, the dangers that are on the roadway, and what they can do to be as safe as possible,” Dean said. “There’s a parent-teen contract. You can sit down with your teenager, talk to them about your expectations on the road, and actually have them sign a contract.”

We just wrapped up what AAA calls the “100 Deadliest Days,” which spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dean says statistically, that is when there are more crashes with young drivers because they are not in school.

But this past week proves just because that period is over, it does not mean the risk is gone now.

“When they first started out driving, they don’t have a lot of those skills that they need to get out of a dangerous situation or to realize that there’s a danger ahead, or to recognize things on the roadway, that an older driver might say, you know, what, I need to really slow down here,” Dean said.

He says distracted driving is one of the biggest problems, whether from other passengers, food, or cell phones.

Combining those factors with speed can cost a life, and Dean says speeding is dangerous enough for anyone. He says parents should also continue to monitor their kids’ driving habits after they get their licenses, and he also encourages parents to set an example and practice safe driving as a model for teens to follow.

“Looking away from the road for more than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash,” Dean said.

We still do not know what led up to the crash Friday night, but there will be more counseling for students this week as they return to school.

“We’ll have additional staff support on hand to provide all the kinds of mental health services that our students we anticipate that they will want and need,” Young said.