Suspect Makes First Court Appearance After Crash that Caused Danville Apartment Gas Explosion
Danville, VA - Residents of the Royal Terrace Apartments in Danville are moving out after an explosion this weekend.
The Red Cross is assisting at least 13 people who were displaced, after police say 36-year-old James Barksdale drove into the apartment building Saturday morning, creating a gas leak that caused the explosion. Luckily, no one was killed. But six people were hurt.
Barksdale made his first court appearance Monday after being charged with driving while intoxicated and driving on a suspended license.
UPDATE: Danville Police have named a suspect in the crash that caused a gas explosion in Royal Terrace Apartments on early Saturday morning.They said the investigation revealed a white 2006 Chrysler Pacifica was eastbound on Guildford Street, crossed over the north and south bound lanes of Arnett Boulevard, drove off the road and struck the apartment building.Warrants were obtained for the driver of the Chrysler, 36-year-old, James T. Barksdale, a Danville City resident for driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license. As a result of the crash gas lines were severed at the meters, resulting in a leak that filled the building with a high concentration of gas. The explosion created a structure fire and compromised the 18-unit building by buckling walls and floors. City utilities workers shut off gas and power service to the building. The Chrysler was only occupied by the driver. The Chrysler sustained approximately $2,000 in damages. The apartment building sustained approximately $500,000 in damages.
Barksdale is currently in the Danville City Jail under no bond.According to the manager of the apartment building, all residents who transported to the hospital have been released. The police department and fire marshal's office continue to investigate this incident. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Danville Crimestoppers at (434) 793-0000. Citizens who contact Crimestoppers by telephone may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 -------------Danville, VA--Royal Terrace Apartments on Arnett Boulevard in Danville was damaged early Saturday morning in a natural gas explosion, that also sent six residents to the hospital.Police, fire and rescue personnel were dispatched to the building at 1:16 a.m. They said a vehicle traveling on Arnett Boulevard veered off the roadway and struck the apartment building. When the car struck the building, it severed gas lines at the meters, resulting in a leak that filled the building with a high concentration of gas.The explosion created a structure fire and compromised the 18-unit building by buckling walls and floors.Firefighters evacuated residents, but at first were not able to enter four of the apartment units due to a high concentration of gas that developed when the gas lines were severed.City utilities workers shut off gas and power service to the building. At 2:30 a.m., firefighters were able to search the four units. The units were not occupied at the time of the search.Six residents were transported to Danville Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Another 14 residents were displaced. The Red Cross assisted displaced residents in finding accommodations.The fire marshal's office and police continue to investigate the incident.