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Details emerge on wreck that killed four
Suspect in shooting makes court appearance
Manesha Ward, Lamar Ward, Laverious Woods and Takea Turner died in a car accident Saturday on Figsboro Road.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
More details about an accident that killed four people Saturday on Figsboro Road were released Wednesday, and the man charged in a shooting that preceded the wreck made his first court appearance.
Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said officers are convinced that Manesha Ward, 24, who was driving the 2002 Honda Accord that ran off the road and hit a tree, was traveling at a high rate of speed because she was trying to take her brother, Lamar Ward, 19, to the hospital for medical treatment.
Lamar Ward had been shot several times in the torso and other parts of his body while the car was parked outside a mobile home on Niblett Drive, police have said.
Manesha Ward got into the car and began driving, but she made it only 1.2 miles before the Honda wrecked. Ward and the three passengers were thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.
In addition to the Wards, Takea Turner, 21, and her 6-month-old son, Lazerious Woods, were killed in the accident.
“We completely feel like she (Manesha Ward) was trying get her brother to the hospital,” Perry said.
According to a report in his office, the wreck occurred when the right front wheel of the Honda dropped off the side of the road. Ward then pulled the vehicle back up into the road and overcorrected, Perry said.
A combination of factors — “the stress of the situation and checking on his (Lamar Ward’s) status” — likely precipitated the crash, the sheriff said.
“Just a minor correction, or a small adjustment, can have a big impact on the dynamics” involved when a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, he said, speaking in general terms and not specifically about Saturday’s crash.
“A very minor change that causes the weight of the car to shift has an exponential impact,” he said.
No reconstruction was performed of the crash, according to Virginia State Police 1st Sgt. Michael Bailey, a member of the Blue Ridge Regional Crash Investigation Team, which investigates and reconstructs some serious traffic accidents. Excessive speed appeared to be a contributing factor, the trooper said.
Police have not said how fast they believe Ward was driving. The speed limit in the area is 35 mph.
The man charged in connection with the shooting — Lamont Anthony Woods, 21, of 164 Niblett Drive, Martinsville — was arraigned Wednesday morning in Henry County General District Court on charges of attempted murder, malicious wounding, maliciously shooting into an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm in a malicious wounding, according to court records.
Woods, who turned himself in Tuesday, was appointed an attorney through the public defender’s office, court records show.
Woods is the father of Lazerious Woods, police have said.