A 13-year-old pedestrian on March 12, 2016, died from the injuries she suffered when getting hit by a car in Northumberland County, Virginia (VA). The deadly crash occurred shortly after 7 pm at the intersection of Fleeton Road and Chesapeake Beach Road outside of the town of Reedville.
The location of the collision is a juncture of two-lane rural highways that has no traffic lights or crosswalks. Several homes surround the intersection, though, so drivers should know to remain alert for pedestrians both alongside and in the roadway. The car's driver, identified as a 75-year-old man, remained on the scene of the fatal accident. Police did not immediately charge him with any traffic violations, but the investigation continues.
Authorities will need to consider whether the man behind the wheel of the car was negligent or reckless. Questions to ask and answer relate to his speed at the time of the wreck, his use of alcohol or drugs that can impair driving ability, and his ability to see the girl at sundown. Also, considering the driver's age, police will need to determine if his vision and physical condition allowed him operate a vehicle safely.
A last set of questions will have to explore whether the driver allowed himself to become distracted. Any person who takes his eyes and mind off the road, even for a few seconds, puts everyone else at risk for serious and fatal injuries. If the driver outside of Reedville was using a phone, changing the radio station or simply watching the scenery instead of looking ahead for pedestrians, oncoming vehicles or obstacles, then he could be charged with a criminal offense and held liable for paying insurance claims for causing a wrongful death.