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95 Express Lanes crash, March 18, 2021. 

A 46-year-old Richmond woman who led state police on a chase ending in a deadly crash in the 95 Express Lanes near Dumfries was wanted for outstanding traffic charges in Chesterfield County.

Stephanie T. Morton, 46, and her passenger, 26-year-old Tia O. Porter were both killed Thursday when the 2008 Dodge Avenger Morton was driving crashed through the Express Lanes gates heading north into southbound traffic and hit three other vehicles head on, killing the driver of one.

Morton was wanted in Richmond and Chesterfield County for failure to appear in court, providing false identification to law enforcement, driving on a suspended or revoked license, speeding and failure to disregard a traffic signal in cases dating back to 2019, according to court records.

In January 2020, she was listed as a fugitive by the Richmond General District Court.

Porter, her passenger, lived at the same address as Morton and may have been her daughter, though state police were still putting the pieces together Friday afternoon, Geller said.

The investigation is ongoing into exactly why Morton ran from a trooper who tried to stop her for speeding in Spotsylvania County around 4:30 p.m., leading to the deadly chain of events. State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said collecting evidence from the Dodge likely won't be possible since it was destroyed by fire.

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Kenneth E. Crosby Jr., 61, of Dumfries, was traveling south in the Express Lanes near Cardinal Drive in a 2020 Ford pickup when the Dodge Avenger slammed into his truck head on. The impact of the crash caused the Ford to run off the side of the Express Lanes and over the guardrail. Crosby died at the scene.

Meanwhile, a 2016 Hyundai Tucson and a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas collided with the Dodge, causing the Dodge to catch fire.

A trooper first attempted to stop the Dodge Avenger traveling north on Interstate 95 at 80 mph in a 65 mph zone in the northbound lanes of I-95 in Spotsylvania County near mile marker 127, Geller said.

The Dodge refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated, Geller said. Within two minutes, the trooper terminated the pursuit due to heavy northbound traffic on I-95. The Dodge sped away headed north using the left shoulder.

State police farther north positioned themselves for the coming suspect vehicle and, due to lighter traffic, re-initiated the pursuit of the speeding Dodge as it continued north on I-95, Geller said.

The Dodge exited I-95 for the Express Lanes, breaking through three of the lighted Express Lanes gates at the entry as it headed north into the lanes that were switched for southbound traffic only, Geller said. The trooper did not follow the Dodge into the Express Lanes.

 

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