One person killed in Sunday crash on Route 307

Published 8:46 pm Sunday, July 2, 2023

One person is dead and another injured after an accident Sunday on Route 307. The problem is the same one drivers have been dealing with all year, as two vehicles collided at the intersection between Route 460 and Route 307. 

According to Prince Edward County officials, one vehicle on Route 460 was slowing to turn onto Route 307 South. That driver was hit by a vehicle traveling west on Route 460. The Virginia State Police were brought in to investigate the crash. Names of the drivers have not been released, as State Police troopers are just starting the investigation and families need to be notified first. 

The incident happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday. Rice Volunteer Fire Department and Prince Edward Rescue were called out at 2:15 p.m. Rice sent a fire engine and utility truck, while Prince Edward Rescue sent two ambulances. The Prince Edward Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police both had a presence at the scene as well. 

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This marks the latest in a series of accidents in the area. Three serious accidents happened either at or near the intersection from May 31 to July 1, with multiple people injured. The Virginia Department of Transportation has made some changes to the intersection, but so far, they haven’t cut down on the damage. 

The recent changes included putting a turning lane on 460 West where it previously dropped off, causing many drivers to hit the concrete island or quickly change lanes and cause an accident. There is now one lane approaching the intersection and there is a right turn lane to go to 307 East.

At county meetings, residents have said they want more changes. They want either a caution light or a full stoplight at the intersection itself. They also want signs. 

What’s causing the problems at Route 307? 

VDOT conducted a crash study at this intersection from November 2020 to June 2022. During this period there were no fatalities, one severe injury, nine visible injuries, no nonvisible injuries and 18 cases of property damage involving a total of 28 reported crashes. Since this study is based on reported crashes, this means more accidents may have taken place, but VDOT has no record of the other ones. 

The main problem with this intersection has been numerous rear-end crashes happening on Route 307 as drivers approach Route 460 West. Part of that was addressed, but in doing so, VDOT accidentally created another issue. 

While trying to alleviate the rear-end crashes, VDOT ended up causing a new issue. This new design created the problem of drivers not realizing their lane turns into a dedicated right-turn lane at the intersection. This caused roadway departures and angle crashes, exchanging one problem for another. 

VDOT is working on that second problem now. Work crews have altered the lane layout on Route 460 West as mentioned. When the project is finished, all approaching traffic in the westbound lanes will shift into a single-through lane. To turn right onto Route 307, drivers would have to get into the dedicated right-turn lane.