An illegal lane change by a man later charged with driving under the influence left one person dead and seven other hospitalized with injuries. The fatal head-on collision occurred near the intersection of U.S. 501/Brookhead Highway and Volunteer Road in Campbell County, Virginia (VA).
The deadly crash happened outside of the town of Gladys on the day after Thanksgiving 2016. According to reports, the at-fault driver crossed a double yellow line while attempting to pass a slower-moving vehicle in front on him on the highway. He ran into an SUV traveling in the opposite direction, and the deceased victim was a passenger in that SUV.
Two other people in the SUV sustained serious injuries, as did the at-fault driver and four passengers in his own vehicle. A preliminary DUI charge has been filed. More charges for criminal offenses and traffic violations may be forthcoming.
Drunk drivers pose an ever-present risk to people's lives and health precisely because individuals impaired by alcohol are prone to taking unnecessary risks like speeding, ignoring lane markers and changing lanes when they have too little space to do so. Taking the wheel after drinking too much is a reckless act in and of itself; that problem compounds itself when the intoxicated individual acts recklessly in other ways like attempting an illegal pass.
The victims of this fatal head-on collision, including the family members of the woman who lost her life, may find it difficult to secure adequate insurance settlements and other forms of compensation from the at-fault driver because so many people have legitimate claims. Also, police reported that the drunk driver who inflicted so much pain and suffering was operating on a revoked license. He might not even have auto insurance, collision and liability coverage.
Consulting with a Virginia wrongful death and personal injury attorney will help the survivors and grieving family members learn their options for seeking compensation.