A head-on collision between a semi and a car in central Virginia left the three people in the smaller vehicle dead and the commercial truck driving facing charges. The fatal crash happened outside of the town Bremo Bluff, VA, which is near the border between Fluvanna County and Buckingham County.
Virginia State Police described the crash on the morning of January 23, 2017, in a press release:
A tractor-trailer loaded with sand was traveling south on Route 15. As it came downhill and through a curve, the trailer crossed over the center line and struck a northbound 2015 Honda sedan. The impact of the crash caused the tractor-trailer to overturn.
The driver of the car and his two passengers died at the scene of the crash. The truck driver survived with minor injuries and was immediately charged with reckless driving. Police also told reporters that additional charges are pending.
News reports do not indicate why the semi operator wound up on the wrong side of the rural two-lane route, which is also called the James Madison Highway. Going too fast around the curve could have made staying in his own lane difficult, as could becoming distracted by a phone or GPS device or nodding off after driving through the night. The truck driver could be cited for one of those traffic violations, and he also be charged with one or more counts of taking a life while operating a motor vehicle.
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 mph is defined as reckless driving under Virginia law. More broadly, endangering lives while behind the wheel can be considered reckless behavior.
Learning how the commercial truck driver acted recklessly matters both for securing criminal convictions and for filing and collecting on wrongful death insurance claims. Importantly, the evidence collected by police and prosecutors can also be presented to insurance companies and, if necessary, the judge and jury in a civil trial for compensation and damages. Working with a caring and dedicated Virginia wrongful death attorney will help the family members of the man and women who lost their lives in this head-on collision to access and use the evidence gathered by police investigators.
Hiring a dedicated plaintiff’s lawyer will also help the family members sort through the various types of insurance that may apply. Commercial truck drivers and the vehicles they operate usually carry multiple forms on insurance. Depending on why and exactly how the deadly wreck occurred, more than the policy for the driver himself may need to pay settlements or judgments.