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Hit-and-Run That Started as Improper Lane Change Kills 1

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A hit-and-run collision that started as a sudden and possibly reckless lane change left a Frederickburg, Virginia (VA), man dead on I-95 on the night of August 27, 2017. The deadly two-vehicle wreck happened in the northbound lanes of the interstate at exit 152A to Route 234 toward Dumfries.

 

 

Witnesses told Virginia State Police that they saw the driver who fled the scene first move right to get off I-95 and then cut left across multiple lanes without warning. An initial collision with a Hyundai Elantra sent both vehicle into the guardrail in the median. The vehicles rebounded, crashed again, and the Hyundai ended up going head-on into the guardrail.

The 47-year-old man behind the wheel of the Hyundai died at the scene. Witnesses could not recall the license plate number for the fleeing vehicle and offered only a general description of a four-door, dark-colored sedan. State troopers have asked anyone with more information to call them at (703) 803-0026 or at #77 on a cell phone. They also want people to be on the lookout for a vehicle with significant damage to its rear driver’s side, a missing or damaged front bumper, and, possibly, a broken tail light.

Finding the fleeing driver is essential to holding the person criminally accountable for taking a life and for making him or her pay compensation and damages to the family of the man he killed. What may have started as an honest mistake of entering an exit ramp while lost or confused turned into a tragedy by not using a turn signal to indicate a lane change and cutting across multiple lanes at once.

The greatest error, and crime, came when the driver who made the improper lane change decided to drive off. Here, highlighted within this quote from section 46.2-894 of the Virginia Code, are a driver’s legal duties following a crash:

 

The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic …, and report his name, address, driver's license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property. The driver shall also render reasonable assistance to any person injured in such accident, including taking such injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital if it is apparent that medical treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.

 

If the driver who caused the fatal hit-and-run collision on I-95 near Dumfires is never identified, the family of the man who died may be able to file wrongful death claims under uninsured motorist provisions of their loved one’s own auto insurance policy. Consulting with a caring and dedicated Virginia wrongful death attorney will help the family understand and navigate that process.

EJL

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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