Accidents close Holland Road

Published 8:59 pm Monday, March 26, 2012

Two accidents happened within an hour of each other on Holland Road on Sunday when a Franklin woman swerved to avoid an animal, and then, later, a driver allegedly failed to stop for a police officer working the first accident.

The first wreck happened about 7:40 p.m. when Michelle Lee Chandler, 30, of the 31200 block of Cypress Woods Trail in Franklin, was driving east on Holland Road in the area of Chappell Drive, according to a police report. She swerved on wet pavement to avoid an animal in the roadway, ran off the road to the right and struck several trees.

She suffered major injuries to her legs and head, according to the report. Her 2008 GMC Envoy was totaled, according to the report. She is in serious condition as of Tuesday morning at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

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The second wreck occurred at 8:27 p.m. on the westbound side of the road. According to a police report, 60-year-old Stephen M. Rothrock, of Kitty Hawk, N.C., was driving his 1998 Mercedes ML320 westbound on Holland Road when he began to slow down for a police car in the middle of the road working the first accident.

That’s when 33-year-old Steven Douglas Miller Jr., of the 32000 block of Jenkins Mill Road in Franklin, allegedly was unable to stop his 2001 Kia on wet pavement in time and rear-ended Rothrock’s vehicle, according to a police report. He was charged with following too closely.

An 8-year-old boy in Miller’s vehicle suffered minor injuries, according to the report.

Both directions of the highway were closed for about an hour while police worked both accidents. The eastbound lanes were closed for a longer period of time while emergency personnel worked to extricate Chandler from her vehicle.