Virginia man dies in single-vehicle accident

WAVERLY – A Virginia man is dead following a single-vehicle accident Thursday night.

Troy Steven Richards, 56, of Norfolk, Va., was pronounced dead at Camden Clark Medical Center late Thursday night, after wrecking his 2000 Toyota Tacoma.The accident occurred in the 1300 block of Deerwalk Highway, just past the entrance to Valley Mills Road, approximately one mile south of West Virginia 2.Shattered glass and various debris shut down Deerwalk Highway for more than an hour. Volunteers and road flares helped to warn approaching traffic of the wreck in the middle of the section of curves.

The turn where the wreck happened is marked as 25 mph and is approached on both sides by sharp turns, blinding oncoming traffic to the incident.

Emergency services were alerted to the scene around 10:25 p.m., after a driver came upon Richards lying in the road. There were no witnesses to the accident.

Sgt. B.A. Pickens, with the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, was part of the Wood County Investigation team on-site in the rain Thursday night.

Richards was the only occupant of the vehicle at the time of the wreck, Pickens said. Deputies believe Richards was not wearing his seat belt during the accident, Pickens said.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the wreck, with evidence of alcoholic consumption present in the vehicle, Pickens said.

While approaching the sharp left turn going southbound on Deerwalk Highway, Richards lost control of the vehicle. He slid off the southbound berm, approaching a deep ditch, as he entered the turn, Pickens said. To avoid the ditch, Richards overcorrected by jerking the wheel to the left, Pickens said.

During the overcorrection, Richards lost control of the vehicle. The skid marks on the road indicate the Tacoma began to spin to the left until it faced northbound, before it rolled, Pickens said.

The wreck investigation team believes the Tacoma rolled only once before coming to rest on its wheels, Pickens said. The driver was ejected mid-roll, coming to rest in the northbound lane. He remained there for an unknown amount of time until a passerby found him and called for help.

The Tacoma came to rest approximately facing north, 30 feet off the road, on a gentle slope. The vehicle stopped on its wheels, Pickens said. The windshield was smashed out, and the driver’s side cab roof of the vehicle was smashed down significantly. The headlights were still on, providing illumination to the scene.

The accident is still under investigation by the Wood County Investigation team.