The Virginia State Police have identified a person killed early Thursday morning in a horrific crash involving two vehicles that were described as racing on U.S. 220 south of Martinsville.
Shamon Darius Massey, 22, of Martinsville was killed and a second person seriously injured when both vehicles flipped multiple times near the Nelson Honda dealership at 2500 Greensboro Road.
Virginia State Police Sgt. Dennis McBride, citing a preliminary investigative report compiled by VSP Trooper Dillon, said a Henry County deputy was “working radar” in the vicinity of the crash about 1:40 a.m. and witnessed the incident.
McBride would not confirm if the deputy tracked the speed of either vehicle by radar, but a later release from VSP said the cars were “racing” northbound on U.S. 220, about one-tenth of a mile north of Rives Road, when drivers of both vehicles lost control and left the roadway without the vehicles having made contact.
Massey was driving a 2009 Pontiac that left the right side of the roadway near Captain Tom’s Restaurant, clipped a utility pole, flipped multiple times and came to rest in the parking lot of TitleMax Title Loans.
Latoshia E. Hairston, 27, of Martinsville was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu that crossed into the southbound lanes of U.S. 220 at Veteran Road, flipped multiple times and came to rest just off the roadway, between Subway Restaurant and Nelson Honda.
The deputy reported that Massey was trapped, but when rescue workers arrived, they determined that he had died.
The deputy also described another person, presumably a passenger in Massey’s vehicle, as having been ejected. Rescue workers found that person, a female, lying in the parking lot of TitleMax and transported her to Sovah Health-Martinsville with a serious injury.
Dillon’s preliminary report did not provide the identity of the female found lying in the parking lot, and the type of injury and her status have not been released.
McBride said Hairston was not injured and was charged with reckless driving, and the later release said that other charges are pending.
That release also noted that there were two passengers in the Malibu who fled the scene.
“I’ve seen bad wrecks in 20 years, but this was one of the worst,” McBride said. “I can’t remember seeing a vehicle damaged that bad.”
The parking lot was littered with glass, car parts and contents from within the car.
A utility pole between the highway and the parking lot had broken in two, and power lines hung dangerously close to the roadway.
Tire marks could be seen leaving the northbound lanes of U.S. 220 in front of Captain Tom’s Seafood, about 300 feet south of where the Massey’s demolished Pontiac had come to rest in the TitleMax parking lot.
Further north on U.S. 220, more than a football field away, Hairston’s destroyed Malibu had come to rest just off the southbound side of U.S. 220.
Glass, debris and the front end of a vehicle lay in the middle of the road.
Henry County Sheriff’s deputies were seen combing the area with flashlights.
Rescue and fire from multiple agencies arrived on the scene.
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt.