Huntly man dies in 522 accident

From staff and contributed reports
A Huntly man died Dec. 29 after a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 522 in northern Rappahannock County.

Jerry Lee Gray Sr., 51, died of his injuries while being transported to a hospital in Warren County, according to Sgt. Les Tyler of the Virginia State Police.

Statewide, on the extended Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends before and after the fatal crash on 522, Virginia State Police said 14 people died in 12 traffic crashes on Virginia’s highways.

Tyler said Gray was driving northbound in his 2006 Chevy Colorado shortly after 9 p.m. when he veered right, overcorrected and ran off the left side of U.S. 522 just south of Route 662 in Huntly. The pickup flipped after striking a rock wall and tree and then struck another tree.

Gray was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle, Tyler said. There were no passengers in the vehicle. The officer said speed was a factor in the crash. The speed limit is posted at 55 mph.

Statewide, 10 people died in eight crashes in the state during the 2010 Christmas holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 24 and ended at midnight on Dec. 26, according to Virginia State Police. There were four reported fatal crashes during the 2010-2011 New Year’s holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31 and ended at midnight Jan. 2. In 2009, 11 people were killed in traffic crashes over a four-day Christmas holiday and five traffic fatalities occurred during the four-day 2009-2010 New Year’s holiday.

Four of this year’s Christmas period fatal crashes occurred Dec. 24 in the counties of Campbell, Henrico, Loudoun and Madison. The remaining fatal crashes occurred Dec. 25 in Newport News and the counties of Prince William, Rockingham and Russell. The Prince William County crash claimed the lives of a driver and his two passengers. Alcohol was a factor in at least four of the crashes.

The four fatal New Year’s period traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Chesterfield, Gloucester and James City. The Gloucester County fatality claimed the life of a pedestrian. Alcohol was a factor in at least one of the fatal crashes.

The year ended with 35 fewer traffic deaths in Virginia in comparison to 2009, according to preliminary crash reports. In 2010, 721 men, women and children died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways. In 2009, 756 people lost their lives in traffic crashes.

In addition to investigating more than 37,000 traffic crashes statewide during 2010, Virginia State Police also took 5,649 drunken drivers off Virginia highways during the year. Preliminary data also show state troopers cited 72,532 reckless drivers and 197,616 speeders across the Commonwealth during 2010. Troopers cited 26,098 seat belt violations and 6,955 child restraint violations.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement. Funding for the enforcement initiative was provided through federal highway safety monies.

Statewide, state police also seized 87 illegal weapons and made 2,835 illegal drug arrests.

Troopers in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads cited 23,422 drivers for being in violation of High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) regulations.

In addition, Virginia State Police troopers responded to more than 51,000 requests for assistance from state, federal, and local police and sheriff’s offices during 2010.

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