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Elderly couple killed in Virginia crash were 'good churchgoing people,' neighbor says

Posted at 6:22 PM, May 29, 2024

BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- Neighbors are stunned after state police said four people were killed in a three-vehicle crash on Route 15 in Buckingham County Tuesday morning.

"It was haunting hearing about it afterward. It was horrendous," said Mary Butler, whose Buckingham County home is not far from the crash scene.

Butler and her husband heard aircraft overhead and the rush of emergency vehicles.

"And they kept coming and coming and coming," she said. "I knew it was bad. I had no idea how bad."

Route 15
Buckingham Department of Emergency Services Chief Cody Davis

Buckingham Department of Emergency Services Chief Cody Davis said the scene his crew and six other agencies were responding to was about 200 yards south from Route 15 and Hughes Road.

"We happened to be in a large joint training with the State Police, so we were able to all deploy and get on scene at the same time," Davis said.

A Ford Fusion headed south crossed into the northbound lane and hit a transit van, kept going and then hit a Nissan Versa head-on, according to a Virginia State Police spokesperson.

"It was difficult to access people from both of the vehicles, that one vehicle is on its roof," Davis said.

Police said that while the driver of the van was uninjured, four people in the other two cars died at the scene.

Runping Z. Rhett, 66, of Alton, and a passenger, Eric D. Truscott, 37, were in the Versa.

Erika M. Henshaw, 77, of Dillwyn, who was driving the Fusion, and passenger, Alvin P. Henshaw, 85, were in the Fusion.

A woman who said she has been a longtime neighbor of the Henshaws said still trying to process the loss.

"I love them and God knows I'm going to miss them. God, I can't get over it," she said.

The neighbor said the two were husband and wife and she's known them for nearly a quarter-century.

"They were good Christians, good churchgoing people," she said. "Would do anything they could to help anybody. And they're just good people."

Route 15

While no cause for this crash has been released, those we spoke called the stretch of Route 15 dangerous and said that speeding is a problem.

This crash was just one of many since the Memorial Day weekend that's left over a dozen dead around Virginia.

Davis said that is why troopers increased enforcement, but he encouraged people to drive with caution.

"Who knows what combination of variables it could be, but just to stay alert and vigilant and practice safety as much as possible," Davis said.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will also be investigating this and previous crashes on this stretch of road and determine if there's anything that can be done to improve safety.

The crash remains under investigation. If you knew the crash victims or have more information, please email the CBS 6 Newsroom.

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