RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – A fatal crash has renewed calls for changes to Semmes Avenue after the car in which a Huguenot High School student was traveling crashed into a utility pole at Semmes and 22nd on Saturday, killing him.
Charles Redmond, who has only lived in Semmes for a little over a year, said accidents here are nothing new, but the aftermath he witnessed in Saturday’s fatal crash was his Worst ever.
“It’s the speeding that really gets our attention, and in the past, it’s usually the screeches, the bangs,” Redmond said. “The driver came out and kept saying she was 17,” Redmond said. “It really hit all of us.”
The victim in the car on November 26 was 17-year-old Josie Cox.
Like many other accidents, its clear speed was a factor, Redmond said.
“I overheard one of the investigators say the white car was going significantly over the speed limit,” Redmond said.
The collision was so severe that the vehicle was stuck against a concrete utility pole on the Semmes and 22nd centerline, colliding and bending.
There have been at least 29 accidents along Semmes Avenue so far this year, according to state accident records. At least four of those crashes, not including Saturday’s fatal crash, occurred at the 22nd Street intersection.
Redmond said the community would like to see more speed enforcement.
“If word comes out that Semmes Ave is a speeding ticket city or a large speeding ticket zone, maybe they’ll get that and move their activities elsewhere,” Redmon said.
Councilman Stephanie Lynch’s office said new speedometers were installed on West 25th and 26th streets over the past few months to help drivers slow down between Bainbridge and Semmes. More extreme measures on Semmes, such as narrowing the road, would require permission from the state government, since Semmes Ave is technically a state highway.
Lynch said she would like to see measures to narrow roads and increase infrastructure to support pedestrians, cyclists and public transit, as well as speed limit enforcement, but would need to work with VDOT to implement them.
Meanwhile, as the city mourns the loss of another teen, Redmond, he hopes the latest incident will bring sanity back.
“It was a big blow, a real blow,” Redmond said. “The city, hopefully the state government has to do something to slow this down.
A prayer vigil is planned for Cox behind the parking lot of the Haywood Hair Salon on Semmes Avenue across the street from the crash site. People are asked to wear pink and white and bring candles.
For more information, contact the United Crime Fighting Community at 804-399-1111.
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