A collision in a Norfolk, Virginia (VA), crosswalk on the night of October 1, 2017, led to death of the pedestrian and likely charges for the driver. The fatal crash happened at the four-way stoplight between Walmart and Southern Shopping Center in the 7500 block of Tidewater Drive.
No details about how the wreck happened have been reported by newspapers or television stations. It is known that emergency responders found the 59-year-old pedestrian unconscious in the roadway a little after 7 pm. Despite being transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the man died from his injuries within hours of the crash.
Investigators have turned evidence over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Norfolk. Possible charges include failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian while making a right turn on red and failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The second charge would come under section 46.2-924(A1) of the Virginia Code, which states, “The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway at any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block.” Even when a driver has reason to believe that pedestrians face a red or yellow light, drivers must maintain a lookout for pedestrians and make all appropriate efforts to avoid hitting them.
The site of this deadly Norfolk pedestrian crash between Miller Street and E. Little Creek Road sees heavy vehicle and foot traffic at most hours. Drivers must remain alert at all times to avoid collisions that can result in injuries and deaths. Any degree of distraction, any speeding or any failure to obey traffic signals can result in an irreversible tragedy.
My Virginia Beach-based wrongful death attorney colleagues and I have helped many victims of pedestrian crashes in Norfolk. We frequently hear from the drivers against whom we file insurance claims or civil lawsuits that they “never even saw” our clients. While often true, such an explanation can never stand as an excuse. Drivers have legal duties to spot and yield to pedestrians, especially when the people are using crosswalks. Holding the driver involved in this Tidewater Drive wreck to his or her duty will be easier if the family of the man who lost his life partners with a Virginia plaintiff’s attorney.