One woman lost her life, a truck driver sustained critical injuries and two other people suffered injuries in a three-vehicle crash in Hanover County, Virginia (VA), on the morning of October 21, 2015. The chain-reaction accident occurred outside of the town of Montpellier, at the intersection of Mountain Road/Route 33 and Dunn Road.
The county sheriff's office told reporters that the SUV crossed the center line of the highway and clipped the tractor-trailer that was traveling in the opposite direction. That impact caused the big rig operator to lose control and jackknife before colliding with a car. The woman behind the wheel of the car died at the scene, while the truck driver required life-saving emergency medical treatment. A passenger in the SUV also got hurt, as did the apparently at-fault driver.
Investigators did not release information on why the SUV left its designated lane, and it remains unclear whether any charges will be filed in relation to the fatal accident. What is clear, however, is that crossing into the path of oncoming traffic always sets the stage for tragedy. Drivers must slow down around curves, avoid distractions and never take the wheel when impaired in any way, either by intoxicants or illness.
The other sad lesson from the deadly crash in Hanover County is that one driver's error, negligence or recklessness endangers every other person on the road. The deceased victim was not in either of the vehicles that initially collided; she simply got caught up in the aftermath of a sideswipe that may have been prevented by someone else paying more attention to the job of driving safely and attentively.