Crash bursts water main in Windsor

Published 11:03 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

WINDSOR—Utility workers were called in to repair a water main just east of the town limits along U.S. Route 460 on Wednesday after a vehicle slid off the highway and crashed into the pipe, rupturing it.

Virginia State Police were called to the accident scene, located at 12484 Windsor Blvd., at 9:28 a.m., according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Cotten.

Cotten said that a 2003 Ford Expedition suffered “extensive damage” after it ran off the highway, crashed into a mailbox, went down an embankment, hit the guide wire for a telephone pole, and then hit the pole.

Evidence from the accident scene seemed to indicate that the vehicle was headed eastbound on U.S. Route 460.

Sometime during the accident the vehicle also hit a blowoff valve, a 4-inch pipe that sticks out of the ground and permits periodic flushing of the underground water main.

Cotten said the driver of the vehicle, Alan Willis of Wakefield, was cited for reckless driving. Willis suffered minor injuries from the crash.

Isle of Wight County officials issued an alert about the accident at about 11 a.m., warning the public that the right eastbound lane of

U.S. Route 460 was closed.

Workers from Suffolk-based Art-Ray Corp. made repairs to the water main. Other workers from the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation were present during the repairs.

An employee from the county’s engineering department, who did not wish to be identified, said the water main was a 16-inch pipe, located 3 feet underground, and was constructed in 2002.

“It was a freak occurrence,” he said, describing the accident.