A Norfolk, Virginia (VA), crash involving a Jeep and a moped on the morning of September 1, 2016, left the moped rider dead at the scene. The fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Ballentine Boulevard and East Princess Anne Road.
The Virginian-Pilot describe the deadly wreck this way: “The moped and vehicle collided head-on with such force ... that the victim’s helmet was knocked off his head. His shoes also were forced off his feet. The moped ended up underneath the Cherokee.”
The same Norfolk Police officer who provided that report told a television station that the "crash is a reminder for all drivers to look out for one another.” He went on to remind viewers that "mopeds are authorized to be on the travel lanes. If you have to, give them the distance required to pass them in the same manner."
It is unclear if the Jeep driver will be ticketed for committing a traffic violation or charged with committing a crime related to inflicting the injuries from which the moped rider died. My Virginia wrongful death law firm colleagues and I know, however, that the driver could still be held liable for paying compensation and damages to the family of the deceased scooter operator. Evidence that the driver failed to yield right of way or became distracted behind the wheel would constitute the kind of negligence that would leave the driver responsible for settling insurance claims.
Spotting two-wheel vehicles like mopeds, motorcycles and bicycles can be difficult, as can judging the distance and speed of small, generally slower-moving two-wheelers. All drivers have legal duties to meet those challenges, however. Misjudgments and lapses in attention end in tragedies.