Inhalant use listed as contributing factor in I-64 fatalities

Blood tests have helped determine a contributing factor to the cause of the fatal traffic crash that claimed two lives on Afton Mountain on the evening of May 12, 2010. The Office of the Medical Examiner’s findings confirm the presence of difluroethane in the blood system of Edward L. Furrow, 29, of Waynesboro, Va. Difluroethane is commonly associated with inhalant abuse.

Furrow was among the two people killed in the crash that occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on May 12, 2010, in the westbound lanes of Interstate 64 at the 98 mile marker on the western side of Afton Mountain in Augusta County.

A 1996 Buick Century was traveling eastbound on I-64 when it ran off the left side of the road. The Buick continued through the median and struck a westbound 2007 Toyota Corolla head-on. Based on the blood test results and evidence collected at the crash scene, State Police believe Furrow may have lost consciousness, which caused his vehicle to cross over the median and crash into the Toyota Corolla.

Furrow, the driver of the Buick, died at the scene. He was not wearing a safety belt.

The front-seat passenger of the Corolla, Brij B. Ramgopal, 71, of White Bluff, Tenn., also died at the scene.

The driver of the Corolla, Vijay B. Ramgopal, 55, of White Bluff, Tenn., and the backseat passenger, Vijayta Ramgopal, 18, of White Bluff, Tenn., were both flown to UVa. Medical Center in Charlottesville for medical treatment. Both survived the crash. Only the 18-year-old female passenger was wearing a seat belt in the Corolla.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

augusta free press news