Three children and a woman went to hospitals after a driver suspected of speeding in a residential neighborhood crashed into them. The wreck inflicted life-threatening injuries on one of the kids, and it was unclear in the aftermath of the collision whether the woman would be able to make a full recovery.
According to WAVY-TV 10, the collision happened on Doctor Drive in the Princess Anne Plaza neighborhood of Virginia Beach, VA. Police received the call at 5:11 pm on September 27, 2017.
The at-fault driver reportedly took a left turn from Dillon Drive too fast, lost control, overcorrected and slammed into a line of three bicycles. The woman had the youngest child in a safety seat on the back of her bike. Two children who were on their own bikes remained hospitalized the day after the wreck.
A witness told the television station that the driver made a “wild turn” and described hearing a “really long screech of tires and then screaming, horrible screaming.” Police agreed that physical evidence from the scene such as skid marks indicate that the driver was exceeding the 25 mph speed limit on Dillon before trying to get onto Doctor.
Charges are pending. Speeding looks like a safe bet, as does reckless driving. Section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code states that “irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.” Reckless speeding is defined in a separate statue as traveling on a surface road at more than 20 mph over a posted speed limit. A considerable amount of investigative work will be needed to determine the at-fault driver’s speed when he started to make the left turn.
As is common for neighborhood streets throughout Virginia Beach, Doctor Drive is wide enough for two vehicles to pass in opposite directions but lacks shoulders or sidewalks. Bike riders will use a travel lane, and they are allowed to do so under state laws that treat bicycles as vehicles. This places a duty on drivers to watch for, yield to and respect bike riders. When drivers fail to treat bike riders just as they would treat other drivers, collisions like this one will happen.
My Virginia Beach-based personal injury law firm colleagues and I hope all the people hurt in the crash in Princess Anne Plaza full and rapid recoveries. We also urge all drivers to obey speed limits and to take left turns cautiously.