A rear-end collision at a major intersection in Clarke County, Virginia (VA), claimed two lives on the night of May 14, 2015. The fatal wreck occurred where Route 7 crosses Route 632, which are known locally as Harry Byrd Highway and Triple J Road. The drivers of both the cars involved died at the scene.
According to the Winchester Star, a woman had stopped in the right-hand eastbound lane at a red light near the town of Berryville. Another car struck her vehicle from behind with enough force to push both cars into the intersection. Investigators with the Virginia State Police and the county sheriff's office could not immediately determine why the deadly crash happened.
Drunk driving may have played a role, the newspaper speculated. My Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney colleagues and I know that driver distraction, excess speed and medical emergencies can also set the stage for serious and tragic rear-end collisions. Whatever happened, the lives lost cannot be reclaimed.
Figuring out the cause is essential, however. Without an identification of the at-fault driver and a solid explanation for how events unfolded, the family members of the deceased crash victim cannot file and collect on adequate insurance claims. While all relevant insurance policies remain in effect when an at-fault driver dies after causing a wreck with injuries and fatalities, that usually helpful legal principle is meaningless if it never becomes clear who bears responsibility for damaging property and harming another person.