Alcohol being investigated as factor in head-on crash

Page News and Courier

BATTLE CREEK, March 20 ― Two Luray men were seriously injured after a head-on crash Sunday night that trapped one driver.

The collision occurred around 9:26 p.m. Sunday, March 20, on Rt. 340, about a quarter mile north of Rt. 615 (Rockingham Drive), near the Page Valley Flea Market.

Archie Jack Dodson, 54, of Luray, was traveling southbound when his 1998 Jeep SUV crossed the center line, according to state police. The vehicle then struck head-on a 2005 Chrysler SUV operated by Galen Gene Mullenax, 63, of Luray.

Dodson, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from his Jeep. Mullenax was trapped in his vehicle for about 20 minutes, according to Stanley Fire Chief Terry Pettit, until he was extricated by firefighters.

Dodson was flown to Winchester Medical in serious condition by AirCare, which landed near the scene, said Pettit.

Mullenax was transported by the Stanley Volunteer Rescue Squad to the U.Va. Medical Center in Charlottesville in “very serious condition,” Pettit said, adding that other helicopters were unable to fly due to weather.

A 13-year-old female passenger in Mullenax's vehicle was transported to Page Memorial Hospital in Luray with non life-threatening injuries. Both the girl ― who is related to Mullenax ― and Mullenax were wearing seat belts.

The crash remains under investigation by the Virginia State Police, who said they believe alcohol to be a factor.

Rt. 340 was shut down for more than two hours by the Page County Sheriff's Office. Page County EMS and the Stanley Police Department also responded.

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