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Same Tree on U.S. 58 in Suffolk, Virginia (VA) the Site of Two Fatal Crashes

According to an article in the Virginian Pilot, the same tree on U.S. 58 in Suffolk, Virginia (VA) has been the site of two fatal crashes in less than a week.  The tree is on a 60 mph stretch of Holland Road/U.S. 58, west of Chappell Drive.  It is several feet from the road, down a bank.  “It is extremely rare to see a fatal accident occur at the same location,” said city spokeswoman Debbie George, a former Suffolk Police Lieutenant.  Police say the tree was struck by two inattentive drivers, once on Saturday and again early Tuesday morning.

The Saturday crash killed a baby from Palm Bay, Florida.  The boy’s father, Joshua Lovelace, fell asleep at the wheel.  The mother, Ashley Lovelace, was critically injured.  Ms. Lovelace remained in critical condition Tuesday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

The woman killed on Tuesday morning was identified as Joan D. Skupien of Murfreesboro, North Carolina (NC).  She was headed east on Holland Road at around 6:00 a.m. when she ran off the road to the right and hit a tree.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Ms. Skupien, a jail officer, was headed to work at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia (VA).  Two outgoing phone calls were made on her cell phone around the time of the wreck, leading police to think she might have been talking on the phone when the incident occurred.

“The city’s public works department will investigate the area and the roadway, but both accidents point to driver inattention,” George said.

Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm is based in Virginia practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.  The firm's website is:, the firm edits two injury law blogs:  Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects.

Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia