Orange County, Virginia (VA), sadly played host to one of eight deadly traffic crashes on commonwealth roads and highways over the weekend of September 22-24, 2017. Several were single-vehicle wrecks, but the one on U.S. 522/Zachary Taylor Highway involved a pickup truck crossing into the path of an oncoming SUV. A passenger in the SUV died at the scene, while her husband and driver suffered life-threatening injuries.
Virginia State Police told reporters that the pickup driver went left of center on two-lane U.S. 522 about a mile south of the junction with Route 611, which is known locally as Parker Road. Reports of the deadly wreck came in at 1:11 pm on September 23.
The at-fault driver also ended up hospitalized with injuries, and troopers announced their intention to file charges against him. No information on why the man behind the wheel of the pickup truck crossed the double yellow lines dividing northbound and southbound lanes. That itself is a traffic offense and evidence of the violation can support a finding of negligence in a personal injury insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit. Common reasons for making the sometimes fatal driving error of leaving one’s own lane include becoming distracted, speeding around a curve, and falling asleep at the wheel. Drug and alcohol testing will also need to be done in the wake of this Orange County crash.
Should the critically injured SUV driver recover sufficiently, he can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of his wife, who authorities identified as 62-year-old Frances E. Higgins of Leesburg. Another family member such as a surviving parent, adult child or brother or sister could also be designated as the person who stands for the deceased victim when dealing with insurance company representatives or going through court proceedings.
Enlisting the help of a dedicated and caring Virginia wrongful death attorney and personal injury lawyer would also help the recovering and grieving husband and his loved ones navigate the claims process. Such considerations may be far from any family members’ minds in these first days following their unexpected and undeserved tragedy. When some of the emotional pain subsides and it does become time to think about seeking compensation and damages, the individuals so unfairly impacted by this deadly head-on collision on Orange County, VA, should know that experienced legal allies are ready to assist.