Beach Road Tragedy: Chesterfield Man’s Memory Lives On as a Family Man

“CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield man is being lovingly remembered by family and friends after he died in a car crash on Beach Road in Chesterfield on Monday, August 28.

25-year-old Shane A. Birkhead of Chesterfield was killed after he crashed his car into another vehicle. Birkhead’s girlfriend, Karen Butler, told 8News that she was stunned to hear that he had been killed.

“Just felt like my breath had been taken away and I couldn’t breathe,” said Butler. “And I think one of my first initial thoughts was immediately ‘He’s in heaven.’”

According to the Chesterfield County Police Department, Birkhead was driving a Honda Civic heading north on Beach Road when he ran off the road, overcorrected, and hit a Subaru Forrester that was traveling south.

Chesterfield man killed in Beach Road crash remembered as family man

Birkhead was pronounced dead at the scene and the Subaru driver was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“That’s the last call you expect to get that your loved one has died,” said Butler.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time the area has been the scene of a crash. According to Butler, Beach Road is well known for its wrecks and — like many other Chesterfield residents — Birkhead was familiar with it.

“So, we knew. We know that road is dangerous,” continued Butler. “But he was very familiar with that road, and he drove it quite often.”

This year alone, there have already been 15 reported car accidents on the stretch of Beach Road where the deadly crash happened. That’s according to TREDS, the traffic records electronic data system used by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Four of those 15 reported accidents were speed-related and eight involved young drivers aged 15 to 20.

So far this year, there have been more than 30 crashes along the entirety of Beach Road, which goes from the Chesterfield County Courthouse to Beaver Bridge Road in the Skinquarter area. Before Monday night’s tragedy, that most recent fatal crash was on Christmas Eve, when a car collided with a pickup truck, killing one and injuring another.

Days after the deadly crash, Birkhead’s loved ones say they are still in shock about his death and say they can’t believe he was killed on a road he’s driven on hundreds of times before.

“I want to be able to grieve, but I have to figure out where I’m going to go now because of the situation I’m in. And I know that he’s with me. And that’s comforting. But it’s hard because somebody I thought I was going to be able to spend the rest of my life with is now gone,” said Butler.

Birkhead, who didn’t have any insurance at the time of his death, leaves behind two young children. Butler says she wants people to learn from her loss and remember that this could happen to anyone.

“You never know whether it’s a little accident or a big accident, how much it can affect somebody,” said Butler. “But I just want him to be remembered. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved his children. He would have done anything for anybody.”

Chesterfield Police say Monday night’s crash is still under investigation, anyone with information is asked to call them at 804-748-1251.”

This tragic incident has devastated Birkhead’s loved ones and the Chesterfield community. Police continue to investigate the cause of the fatal collision on the notoriously dangerous Beach Road.

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