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UPDATE: Pair save victim’s life in fiery Halifax crash

One of three persons injured when a car collided head-on into pickup truck at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Mountain Road and Union Church Road owes his life to a pair of nearby residents.

James E. Edmonds and William E. Majors pulled 23-year-old Christopher Allen Ammons of Highland Hills Drive from his burning 2004 Model Hyundai compact car moments after it caught on fire.

“Something just took over,” Edmonds said.

“He (the driver) was down under the dashboard. He was hollering for us not to do it. We just told him we had to go.”

“I thought it was a kid under there,” Majors added.

“I couldn’t see anything but his head. It was scary trying to pull him (Ammons) out with the fire popping. But we had to do it.”

Ammons was initially treated at Halifax Regional Hospital and later flown by medical helicopter to a Lynchburg hospital for further treatment. 

The driver of the pickup truck, 62-year-old John Edward Eastwood of Keeling, and his wife, Judith Eastwood, 62, also of Keeling, were transported to Halifax Regional Hospital for treatment. 

Trooper T.C. Comer said the couple sustained contusions to the chest and leg injuries.

The trooper said all three victims were out of their vehicles when he arrived at the scene of the crash. The occupants of the pickup truck managed to exit the vehicle under their own power, Trooper Comer said, and were on the ground a few feet away from the truck.

According to Trooper Comer, Ammons was driving east on Mountain Road at a high rate of speed. Ammons’ car ran off of the right side of the road and Ammons overcorrected. The car crossed the center line of the highway and crashed head-on into the oncoming pickup truck driven by Eastwood. 

After the impact, the pickup truck driven by Eastwood went off of the right side of the road and came to rest at the edge of a wooded area.

Ammons was not wearing a seat belt, Trooper Comer said. Both occupants of the pickup truck were wearing seat belts.

Three units from the Halifax County Rescue Squad, two units from the Halifax Volunteer Fire Department and a rescue unit from Patient Transport Services responded to the crash.

Both vehicles were a total loss, with damage to the car driven by Ammons estimated at $6,000 and damage to the 2002 model pickup truck driven by Eastwood estimated at $8,000.

Investigation of the accident is continuing.