Two killed in Hopewell crash
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
May 6, 2014, 18:22
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT
HOPEWELL — Two sisters from Disputanta were killed in a two-vehicle accident in Hopewell on Tuesday afternoon.
At approximately 2:36 p.m., police officers responded to a report of a crash at the intersection of Dinwiddie Avenue and Oaklawn Boulevard, a crash that left two occupants of a 2001 Nissan Altima dead at the scene, according to the Hopewell Police Department.
The victim driver has been identified as Carol B. Jones, 69, and the victim passenger has been identified as Jones’s sister, Shirley A. Tarvor, 71, according to authorities.
The other vehicle was a 1999 Cadillac SUV driven by William Reese, of Hopewell, according to police.
Hopewell Police Chief John Keohane said the driver has not been charged yet, but charges are “pending.”
“Based on my opinion it doesn’t look like speed was a factor,” Keohane said. He said on Wednesday afternoon that charges should be released at the end of the week or the beginning of next week.
Witnesses at the scene reported that Reese drove through a red light heading down Oaklawn Boulevard and blindsided the Altima, which was turning left off of Dinwiddie Avenue directly beside the Bojangle’s.
Keohane confirmed that Reese was the driver who ran the red light. He also confirmed police are still investigating the accident. The police have checked for drug, alcohol use, and texting and driving. Keohane said it does not “appear any of those elements are involved.”
Hunter Vinsh, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle behind the Altima, said that the light on Dinwiddie Avenue had been green for awhile and that two lanes on Oaklawn Boulevard were at a complete standstill when the Altima was struck by the Cadillac.
“He came flying through that light. ... It was five seconds from me dying because I was in the passenger seat,” Vinsh said, visibly shaken up by the incident.
Vinsh said that he jumped out of the vehicle immediately following the incident and checked the pulse of both occupants in the Altima, of which only the driver indicated a slight pulse, and started yelling for somebody to call for 911.
Another witness said that he was driving in his pick-up truck directly behind Reese when the accident occurred and that the light was clearly red with enough distance between the Cadillac and the stoplight.
Both Jones and Tarvor were wearing their seatbelts when the accident occurred.
Following the accident, a portion of Oaklawn Boulevard was closed off for several hours for authorities to handle the investigation and clean up the debris scattered around the intersection.
The Virginia State Police arrived on the scene to assist with the accident and the ongoing investigation.
Like the witnesses to the scene, Keohane was also still upset by the accident on Oaklawn.
“It is very, very sad,” Keohane said. “The man [Reese] has to live with this. This is something he has to live with and bear with the rest of his life.”
One funeral service has been planned for bother sisters. Funeral arrangements are being made by Turner-Bland Funeral Home, 1500 Arlington Road, Hopewell. The viewing will be at noon Saturday, May 10, at Morning Star Baptist Church, 20007 James River Drive, Prince George, with the funeral following at 1 p.m. at the church.
The Hopewell Police Department is requesting that any person(s) who witnessed this crash or has any information to aid the crash investigation to contact the Hopewell Police Department at (804)-541-2222.
• Senior staff writer Caitlin Davis contributed to this report.