Police ID driver killed in Southside crash

Posted at 12:22 PM, Jul 29, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police have identified a man killed in a single vehicle crash that also left his passenger injured in the city's Southside Saturday morning.

Investigators determined that 59-year-old Rufus J. Whitfield was traveling west in the 2900 block of Broad Rock Boulevard just before 10 a.m. when the vehicle he was driving crossed the center line, collided with a tree and rolled over.

Whitfield was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries at 10:42 a.m. The female passenger of the vehicle was also transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

No charges are expected to be filed due to Whitfield's death.

South Richmond fatal crash

South Richmond fatal crash

Laretta Singleton was walking to the store with her husband when they heard the crash.

“It’s an adrenaline that takes over you," Singleton said. "You know, when you see danger, you immediately want to try and fix it.”

Singleton and several other people who saw what happened ran over to help. She said neither the driver nor passenger was wearing a seatbelt.

"He was slipping in and out of darkness...," Singleton recalled. "The last thing you want to see is death and you want to try to make sure everybody is safe.”

As they waited for first responders to arrive, Singleton tried to open the driver's side door, but couldn't, so she prayed for a miracle while she ran to the passenger's side.

“As I was in there helping trying to move his body, I couldn’t help but notice... she was kind of in shock herself,” she said.

Laretta Singleton

Laretta Singleton

After witnessing the gruesome scene, Singleton urged everyone to wear their seat belts.

"It will help you and save you," she added.  "We did everything we could."



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