A Christmas Eve 2015 trip turned into a tragedy for a Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), family when their car was hit by a drunk driver. The fatal crash occurred in the southbound lanes of the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel that connects Newport News with Chesapeake.
The at-fault driver attempted an unsafe lane change on the I-664 bridge, made contact with the family's car, and sent it into the concrete barriers in the center of the structure. The car rebounded off the barriers and flipped over several times, leaving the father with injuries that claimed his life. The mother and three children between the ages of 14 and 20 also sustained serious injuries and spent the holiday in hospitals.
The man driving under the influence escaped injury but now faces multiple criminal charges, including reckless driving, maiming and refusing to submit to sobriety tests.
Virginia State Police step up drunk and drugged driving enforcement each Christmas season, but far too many people take the risk of getting behind the wheel after becoming intoxicated. Such individuals would likely do themselves and everyone else a favor to get pulled over and jailed. People under the influence are far more likely to cause collisions that result in injuries and deaths. As seen high above the confluence of the James, Elizabeth and Nansemond rivers this holiday season, entire families can pay irreparably for another's lack of regard for safe driving.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I urge everyone, now and throughout that year, to stay sober or stay out of the driver's seat.