BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — At least two people have died in central Virginia in the last two weeks after getting out of their smashed cars following interstate crashes.
The mother of 27-year-old Shameek Price told WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, she was on the phone with her son just before he died earlier this month in Brunswick County.
On Dec. 7, Shameek was driving on I-85 and told his mom over the phone that he was hit by an 18-wheeler. He told her his car flipped three times. Despite that phone call, Virginia State Police say they do not have any reports of a crash involving two vehicles in that area.
Worried, Shamika Price stayed on the phone with her son that day, asking him, “Oh my god, Shameek, are you alright?”
He told her he was bleeding on his nose. Shamika says her son walked about 2.5 miles away from the crash trying to find a gas station or hospital.
“I said, ‘you’re not going to find a hospital. Where are you?’ I said, ‘send me your location,'” she reportedly told her son.
The last thing Shamika says she told her son was to stop walking in the woods and get where others could see him. She hoped he would reach the gas station or hospital.
Around 6:35 a.m. on Dec. 7, a state trooper patrolling the area found Shameek’s vehicle, damaged and abandoned on the interstate. After searching the area, the trooper reported no driver in sight and the vehicle was towed away.
Two hours later, first responders found Shameek dead on Route 1. Police didn’t say whether he was fatally injured on Route 1 or elsewhere.
“It just hurts so bad,” Shamika told WFXR’s sister station in an interview about the loss of her firstborn.
Now, she wants others to make sure they are safe when on the dangerous interstate roads.
A second deadly crash — similar to the situation involving Shameek — happened on another Virginia interstate shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, police say.
Belmir Alic of Henrico, was reportedly driving south on I-95 in a Nissan Sentra when he ran off the left side of the highway near the Downtown Expressway and hit a jersey wall.
After coming to a stop, Alic tried to get out of his car, but it was hit by a Dodge Journey SUV. The impact of the crash knocked him into the middle of the interstate, where he was hit again by a Hyundai Tucson SUV.
The driver of the Dodge, 22-year-old Zaina Farris, was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Virginia State Police is still investigating what caused the crash.
Driving on the interstate, needing to pull over after a crash, or needing to change a tire can be dangerous, according to Morgan Dean with AAA.
“You think that you’ve gotten out of one crash and then you’re right in the middle of another one and that’s what’s so dangerous about the roadside,” he said.
Dean recommends not worrying about moving a vehicle out of lanes if it’s too dangerous.
“Pull it over to the side of the roadway, get it to that safe spot and if you don’t feel safe in that vehicle, and you can safely exit, and get over a jersey wall or up onto a hill where you are away from traffic, that might be your best bet,” Dean explained.
The AAA representative also recommends putting flashers on if possible, as well as calling 911 following a crash.