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Shapiro & Appleton

Suicidal Driver Takes Life of Innocent Man

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Some car accidents are simply that - accidents. Other car accidents are due to negligence or recklessness. For example, someone drinks and drives or is texting while driving. But there are a small number of car wrecks that are completely intentional and disturbing in nature. That's the type of car crash that took the life of Richard Williamson, a devoted father of four and a husband for 47 years.

Mr. Williamson was driving home on Interstate 64 (I-64) after helping his oldest son move into a new house in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). As he drove over the High-Rise Bridge, a Toyota Camry came barreling towards him. The wrong way driver initially hit a minivan and then slammed head-on into Mr. Williamson's pickup truck. The impact of the crash killed both Mr. Williamson and the driver of the Camry. The at-fault driver's wife, originally from Chesapeake, VA was in the car and suffered serious injuries, as did the driver of the minivan.

It turns out the at-fault driver was suicidal and intentionally caused the car crash, according to The Virginian-Pilot.  The driver even called someone just before the wreck and told them to watch the news.

A car accident like this is so troubling and extremely frustrating. I know the torment depressed individuals can go through is severe, but devising a plan to take your life by causing a car crash where you take the life of an innocent person is just plain wrong. There is no acceptable explanation for this type of action.

As Kristy Williamson, Mr. Williamson's daughter-in-law  told the Virginian-Pilot, "It's hard for me to fathom someone wanting to take their own life...but doing it that way and taking someone with them intentionally... it makes you mad, and it makes you sad."

This is a terrible tragedy. No words can ease the pain the Williamson family is going through right now.

Amazingly, the insurance company for the suicidal driver will likely try to get out of paying for the wrongful death based on an exclusion for intentional acts. So, the UM coverage for the Williamson family will probably need to be tapped to provide coverage for the damages, punitive and compensatory. This may seem strange but is probably what will have to happen to help the effected loved ones.

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