Horrific accident on Laburnum Avenue saddens neighbors

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-12 18:33:08-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A Henrico police officer told Gary Bloomfield the news Monday night that one his neighbors had been killed in a car accident.

"To hear something like that, life is too short, too soon," said Bloomfield.

Authorities said 32-year-old Reina Opperman, Bloomfield's friend and neighbor, was killed in a car accident just outside the Seven Gables apartment complex where they live.

Bloomfield was also told Opperman’s one-year-old son was thrown from the car and severely injured.

"He just had his first birthday Saturday and I just spoke to her yesterday evening," said Bloomfield. [MORE: Police ID victims in deadly Henrico County crash]

Eighty-five year old Clarence Wimbush was also killed traveling in the same vehicle. It was a saddening scene for neighbors. Many can't get the images out their minds.

"When I saw the police officer throw the blanket over the lady it really really hurt," said neighbor Dorothy Thomas.

Thomas gets teary when she thinks of it. She and many neighbors say the accident points to a larger problem.

"There's a lot of traffic coming down that area so fast," said Thomas

Neighbors contend it’s a dangerous intersection that desperately needs a traffic signal.

"It's just always near misses with people getting in to accidents," said neighbor Margarita Davis.

Henrico police are still investigating the cause of the crash and are not commenting on whether alcohol or speed was a factor or whether all of the passengers were wearing seatbelts.

However, the accident scene alone has shaken neighbors who use the intersection every day.

"A lot of people are in a hurry to go nowhere so it's a really dangerous area," said Thomas.