Couple is on the mend after wreck

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 24, 2009

COURTLAND—A Virginia Beach couple remained hospitalized Thursday after they were involved in a wreck that tied up traffic along U.S. Route 58 on Tuesday morning.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Cotten said Sonia Maria Purvis, 68, of the 3000 block of Fawkes Court, was driving a Lincoln Town Car eastbound on 58 when she hit a Ford F-350 pickup truck that was stopped at the traffic light at the intersection with Business Route 58. The accident occurred at 7:25 a.m.

Cotten said a Nightingale helicopter transferred Purvis to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The driver of the F-350 was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was not identified.

According to Cotten, Purvis’ husband was a passenger in the Town Car and was sleeping in the back seat at the time of the accident. He received minor injuries. Cotten said both occupants of the Town Car were wearing seat belts and no alcohol was involved in the accident. Purvis was cited for reckless driving, Cotten said.

The passenger in the Town Car was later identified as Melvin Purvis Sr. by his son.

“Dad’s coming along well,” Melvin Purvis Jr. said Thursday. “Mom’s kind of messed up.”

Purvis Jr. said his father was supposed to be released from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital on Thursday evening, and his mother would be released “in a few days.”

“She ended up with a fractured vertebra, two broken toes on one foot, one on another, and pulmonary bruising,” he said.

According to Purvis Jr., his parents were on their way home from vacation visiting relatives down south. They had just switched drivers in Emporia and were only 90 minutes from home when the crash occurred.

“My dad was sleeping in the back seat,” Purvis Jr. said. “The next thing he knew, there was a man holding a pillow over his forehead, trying to stop it from bleeding. He didn’t know what happened. He didn’t know where my mom was. He didn’t even see a car. He was just very disoriented.”

The accident caused traffic on eastbound U.S. Route 58 to back up all the way to Southampton Middle School, a distance of nearly four miles.