Newsoms man airlifted from wreck

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FRANKLIN—A 27-year-old Newsoms man was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital after a head-on collision with a cotton hauler Tuesday afternoon.

Virginia State Police declined to identify the accident victim but said he was driving a 2000 Mercury Mystique westbound on General Thomas Highway, or Virginia Route 671.

At the highway’s intersection with Shady Brook Trail, the Mystique hit a Kenworth cotton hauler heading eastbound on General Thomas and attempting to make a left turn onto Shady Brook Trail.

Trooper Sterling W. Johnson said 71-year-old Farris Henry High Sr. — a resident of Lamesa, Texas, and the driver of the Mid-Atlantic Cotton Gin hauler — would be cited for failure to yield the right of way. Johnson said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash and that High was the only occupant of the truck.

“It appears that when (High) was turning onto Shady Brook Trail he was cutting onto the wrong side of the stop sign at the intersection,” Johnson said, adding that the error appeared to be a factor in the 2:50 p.m. crash.

Franklin Fire & Rescue Chief Vince Holt said the Mystique driver had to be extracted from the vehicle and that his level of consciousness “improved somewhat” during the extraction process.

Johnson said the victim, who was picked up by the Nightingale air ambulance service, was “in and out of consciousness.” The trooper described his victim’s injuries as “significant.”

Johnson said High was not injured in the accident.

Holt said personnel from Franklin Fire and Rescue and the Hunterdale Volunteer Fire Department performed the vehicle extraction, while Courtland Rescue provided an additional paramedic and the Newsoms Volunteer Fire Department set up a landing zone for the Nightingale about a quarter-mile west of the accident site.