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Details emerge in fatal wreck

The 56-year-old Nathalie man who was killed in a single-vehicle wreck that occurred in the Walmart parking lot on Friday, May 16, died from blunt force trauma, according to the results of an autopsy.

South Boston Police Chief Jim Binner said Clifton Russell is believed to have suffered a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the 2002 Mazda he was driving that day.

Russell was not wearing a seatbelt when it came through the parking lot at a high rate of speed, struck two parked cars, then struck one of the yellow sign posts, ejecting Russell as it flipped over onto its side and overturned.

His wife, 54-year-old Brenda Russell, also of Nathalie, was wearing a seatbelt and was airlifted to Lynchburg General Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Chief Binner said on Friday Brenda Russell remained a patient at the hospital. 

After viewing a video of the accident secured from cameras in the Walmart parking lot, Binner said Sgt. R. E. Redd and Cpl. C. L. Carswell traveled to the Lynchburg hospital and interviewed Russell.

“We hate to speculate but based on years of experience and Mrs. Russell’s statement that he had experienced a history of seizures in the last couple of weeks, we believe a medical emergency occurred in the vehicle that caused him to lose control,” Binner said.

“It appears from looking at the video, she tried to steer the vehicle after he lost control and avoided one accident before striking the two parked cars and overturning,” the police chief added. 

Following the wreck in the parking lot, Senior Patrol Officer C. M. Mann, the investigating officer for the wreck, declared the Mazda a total loss and estimated damage to both parked cars, a 2004 Ford and 2000 Ford, at $2,500.