A rear-end collision on the interstate beltway around Richmond, Virginia (VA), claimed the life of an innocent driver and sent two young female passengers to the hospital with serious injuries. The fatal crash in Hanover County happened at 11:20 am on June 15, 2017.
State Police determined that the deceased driver had slowed or stopped for a traffic backup before being hit from behind by a Jeep. The crash happened on I-295, just north of the ramps to and from U.S. 301, which takes drivers northeast through Mechanicsville and Atlee.
The injured girls were passengers in the car. News reports gave their ages as 14 and 7 but did not include details on the nature of their injuries or prospects for making full recoveries. The driver of the car, whom state troopers did not identify pending notification of his family in New York, died from his injuries after being taken to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.
Investigators also withheld speculation on why the deadly rear-end collision occurred. Decades of data show that speeding and distraction contribute to causing a majority of rear-enders. Both forms of driver negligence often prove fatal.
In its 2014 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts report, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles stated the during 2013
- 300 persons were killed in speed-related crashes.
- 13,378 persons were injured in speed-related crashes.
- 74.58 percent of speed-related crashes occurred during clear weather and 59.01 percent during daylight.
Looking at distracted driving for a 2015 research note, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined the following:
- Ten percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
- In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Taking one’s eyes and mind off the road ahead while exceeding interstate speeds -- 65 mph on I-295 -- creates dangerous situations. If the investigation into the deadly rear-end collision in Hanover County reveals that the person in the Jeep became distracted, was exceeding the speed limit, or both, that person should be held responsible for settling a wrongful death claim and paying compensation and damages for inflicting personal injuries.
Consulting with an experienced and empathetic Virginia personal injury lawyer and wrongful death attorney will help the families of the victims in the car deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.