RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. -- Days after a mother and grandmother were killed in a wrong-way crash on a Virginia highway, Virginia State Police have asked for help in the investigation.
Candace R. Barnes, 47, and Brenda Fields, 66, of both Rural Hall, N.C., were killed when a flatbed work truck collided with their family's Nissan Rogue on Route 19 near the Russell County and Washington County line. Candace's husband and teenage daughter survived the crash.
The truck driver, identified as 51-year-old Treymane M. Ferguson, 51, of Ruther Glen, Va., was charged with reckless driving and obstruction of justice (for refusing a warrant for a blood sample), according to police.
While Ferguson remains jailed, police would like to hear from people who may have seen him driving prior to the fatal crash.
"We are asking for anyone who may have seen this dark-colored 2003 Ford F-350 flatbed work truck traveling the wrong way on Route 19 on the night of May 3, 2019 PRIOR to the crash occurring to please contact #VSP at 276-880-4238 or contact the investigating Special Agent by email," a Virginia State Police spokesperson said.
Police said there was dense fog when the crash occurred.
"Shortly before 11:45 p.m. (May 3), the Russell County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about a wrong-way driver on Route 19. The sheriff's office immediately broadcast it to their deputies, the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police," the state police spokesperson said. "Moments later, a 2003 Ford F350 flatbed pickup traveling south in the northbound lanes of Route 19 crested a hill and struck head-on a 2016 Nissan Rogue."
The North Carolina family was in Virginia visiting relatives ahead of a high school prom.
"She always had a smile,” Jared Barnes told WGHP about his mother Candace. “She was that kind of person who would help anybody. She held us together.”