Driver takes out utility pole

Published 9:00 am Thursday, October 25, 2012

The driver of this car sheared off a utility pole after driving the wrong side of College Drive at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday. GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—A driver speeding in the wrong lane was injured after shearing off a utility pole at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the entrance to Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin.

Maggie Thomas, 75, of Franklin was taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Witnesses reported seeing Thomas driving her compact car in an erratic manner on Hunterdale Road more than a mile away from the College Drive crash scene. They also indicated she is a diabetic.

Franklin police continue to investigate the crash so a report was not available; therefore, driver of the Toyota Corolla could not identified. The car appeared to be totaled.

The crash, which closed down College Drive, occurred one hour before Tagg Romney, the oldest son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, planned to make a campaign stop at PDCCC.

Blake Whitehead of Sedley said Thomas almost hit his truck at Clay Street and College Drive.

“We had just come to a stop at Clay Street and saw her swaying back and forth,” Whithead said.

Justin Harrup of Ivor said Thomas went through a red light at the intersection and then stopped in the middle of Clay Street.

“She took off on the wrong side of the road and stopped at the apartments (on College Drive) in the middle of the road,” Harrup said.

From there, Thomas continued driving in the wrong lane before hitting the pole, he said.

“She just clipped it off,” Harrup said.

Another witness, who wished not to be identified, also saw the woman speeding on College Drive in the wrong lane and followed her out of concern for her safety.

“She was flying,” he said.