Monday, September 25, 2023

Where are the crashes happening in Hampton, Newport News?

This screen grab from the Virginia DMV website shows the areas in Hampton and Newport News where the "clusters" of crashes have occurred in 2018 (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of
This screen grab from the Virginia DMV website shows the areas in Hampton and Newport News where the “clusters” of crashes have occurred in 2018 (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of

HAMPTON – Care to take a guess where so far this year there have been the most automobile crashes in the city?

Take your time.

Sorry. Time’s up.

The answer is Coliseum Drive and Mercury Boulevard with 30 crashes between Jan. 1 and June 27, making it No. 1 in the state for a “cluster” of crashes.

Brandy Brubaker, public relations and media relations for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said the cluster ranking are based on an algorithm.

“The crashes have to occur within 250 feet of another crash in order to trigger a cluster count, and they have to occur on the same roadway,” she said. “For example, if you looked at a five-mile radius with the highest number of crashes instead, you might get a completely different result – like the Mixing Bowl area in Northern Virginia.”

Also in Hampton, the cluster in the area of Mercury Boulevard and Power Plant Parkway has had 22 crashes so far this year, putting it fourth in the state.

But that’s not all for the city, which features six of the top 15 clusters: at Hardy Cash Drive and Magruder Boulevard there have been 19 crashes this year (7th); 17 crashes have been recorded at Armistead Avenue and Mercury Boulevard, tying it for 10th most with another Hampton location, Big Bethel Road/Hampton Roads Center Parkway and the ramp there; 16 crashes have been reported at Aberdeen Road and Mercury Boulevard (Tie-11th); and finally, 15 crashes have occurred at Armistead Avenue/Hampton Roads Center Parkway, and the ramp there.

Brubaker said the crashes are recorded in the DMV’s TREDS system and includes reports from both state and local law enforcement.

In 2017 Hampton had the No. 1 crash cluster for the year with 108 crashes reported at Build America Drive/Mercury Boulevard/Power Plant Parkway/Power Plant Way/ Todds Lane. Also in the state’s top 10 last year was Coliseum Drive/Mercury Boulevard with 57 total crashes.

Newport News fared much better. So far this year only one location shows up on the DMV report: J. Clyde Morris Boulevard/Jefferson Avenue and the ramp there have seen 18 crashes reported, the ninth highest total in the state.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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