What should have been a routine traffic stop in Richmond, Virginia (VA), turned into a fatal hit-and-run collision during evening rush hour of August 26, 2015. The deadly incident began off Midlothian Turnpike/U.S. 60, and the fatal wreck happened when the at-fault driver ran a red light where the turnpike crosses Broad Rock Road.
Police initially pulled over a man behind the wheel of an SUV for suspicion of reckless driving. The suspect stopped briefly before speeding off and leading a brief chase. He sideswiped several vehicles before striking the car at the red light. The woman he hit died after being transported to a hospital, and law enforcement officers apprehended the fleeing driver from his SUV when it flipped onto its roof.
News reports indicate that the SUV driver fled from police because he faced outstanding felony charges and illegally had firearms in his possession when originally flagged down. The man now faces several new serious criminal charges and is allegedly responsible for taking someone else's life. Running away from police rarely prevents arrest and almost always results in property damage and injuries. This time, like a similarly ill-considered police pursuit on I-295 around Richmond in May 2015, running from the law led to preventable death.
Whatever problems a person faces, the situation will only become worse if he or she flees a traffic stop or car accident scene. Criminal consequences become more severe, and the likelihood of harming others--often irreparably--increases significantly. My Virginia wrongful death law firm colleagues and I urge all drivers to resist any urge to run when pulled over or involved in a crash.