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UPDATE: One accident victim identified
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Rescue and fire crews worked along side law enforcement at the fatal accident scene on U.S. 220 around 11 p.m. Thursday. The accident occurred about an hour earlier.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

A Ridgeway woman was one of the victims of Thursday’s fatal auto accident in Ridgeway, according to a release from the Virginia State Police.

Jennifer Courtney Thomasson, 28, of Ridgeway, was pronounced dead at the scene, the release stated.

She was driving a 2008 Dodge Caliber, which crashed head-on with a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup shortly after 10 p.m. on U.S. 220 just south of Virginia 87 in Ridgeway, the release stated.

The driver of the pickup also was pronounced dead at the scene, the release stated. The male driver was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash and was partially ejected from the vehicle, according to the release.

His identity is unknown pending identification through the medical examiners office.

Thomasson was wearing a safety belt before the crash, the release stated.

According to the release, the preliminary investigation revealed that a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup was being pursued by the Rockingham County (N.C.) Sheriff's Office and the pursuit was terminated by the Rockingham officers when they reached the North Carolina/Virginia border. The pickup continued into Virginia and was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of U.S. 220 when it struck the Dodge Caliber head-on, the release added.

The investigation is continuing, the release stated.

The earlier story follows:

Two people were killed in a head-on collision on U.S. 220 South around 10 p.m. Thursday.

The names of the victims had not been released by around 11:30 p.m.

Sgt. J.M. Phillippi of the Virginia State Police said the accident occurred when a Ford pickup and a small passenger car crashed head-on in the southbound lane of the highway.

The pickup had been traveling northbound, Phillippi added.

The pickup had been pursued by law enforcement in Rockingham County, N.C., until they reached the Virginia State Line, Phillippi said. He did not know why the pickup was pursued.

The pickup caught fire in the collision, and Phillippi said the man who was driving was burned beyond recognition.

Darren Lockridge, president of the Ridgeway Rescue Squad, said he saw flames rising 20 feet from the pickup when he arrived on the scene.

The woman in the passenger vehicle died on impact, Phillippi said.

The accident occurred just south of the intersection of U.S. 220 and Virginia 87.

State police accident reconstruction officials were at the scene late Thursday.

Additional details will be posted here as they become available.


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