Suffolk woman dies in car crash

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A Suffolk woman headed home for the holidays from Virginia State University died Tuesday morning when her car collided with a Mack tractor on Route 460.

Around 8:30 a.m. in Zuni, the 1997 Dodge Neon driven by Naomi Nicole Malette, 20, crossed the center of the four-lane undivided highway into the path of the west bound 2003 truck, according to State Police spokesman Sgt. Sammy D. Carr.

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The accident happened approximately one-tenth of a mile east of Route 644, Firetower Road.

While the tractor ran off the roadway on the right, striking numerous trees, the Neon was pushed back into the eastbound lanes. Malette, of Cole Avenue in Suffolk, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the tractor received non-life threatening injuries and was transported by Nightingale to Sentara Norfolk General. He was listed in stable condition Tuesday night.

The Perdue Farms Inc. tractor was not hauling a trailer at the time of the crash. The driver, Lemon L. Crews of Brookneal, was traveling from Norfolk to Prince George Co.

The tractor’s fuel tanks were damaged, and approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel leaked onto the shoulder and edge of the woods.

The Virginia Departments of Environmental Quality, Department of Emergency Management and Transportation and Isle of Wight County officials worked together at the scene to contain the fuel. No contamination was detected.

All four lanes of Route 460 were closed for almost six hours, while traffic was detoured around the scene in Windsor at Route 258 and in Ivor at Route 620. The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office and VDOT assisting with traffic control.

Virginia State Trooper J.A. Durr is investigating the crash. At the scene, the Virginia State Police Division Five Crash Reconstruction Team and a Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Trooper assisted along with Windsor fire and rescue workers.

Anyone with information about the crash should call State Police at (757) 424-6800.