A pickup truck driver who reportedly crossed the center line of a highway bridge and struck two other vehicles head-on is facing charges for causing a death and driving too fast for road conditions. The fatal three-vehicle wreck happened near the intersection of South Five Forks Road and Daffodil Lane in Amherst County, Virginia (VA), on the morning of December 17, 2016.
At the time of the crash in the community of Monroe, a freezing rain was covering the bridge in ice. Police say that the person behind of the wheel of the pickup lost control and crossed into the path of an oncoming SUV. The initial impact sent the SUV into a guardrail, inflicting severe injuries on the 71-year-old man inside. He later died at a hospital. The pickup continued moving forward and struck a car.
News reports do not include details on how fast the alleged at-fault driver was going. Even if were traveling exactly at or a little under the posted speed limit, however, he could still be found negligent for not significantly reducing his speed on an icy bridge. Braking and steering become difficult when any amount of ice forms on a roadway. The best, and often only, way to maintain control and respond appropriately to dangerous situation is to slow down. This is especially true for pickup truck drivers, since the wheels on the back axel under the bed often have very little weight on them to hold them in contact with the pavement.
Regardless of how the charges made in relation to this head-on collision in Amherst County get resolved, my Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I hope all drivers who learn of the tragedy take to heart the message to slow down on icy roads.