Campbell County, Virginia (VA), served as the site of a serious two-car collision that illustrates the dangers of failing to stay at a stop sign until all oncoming traffic has cleared. The T-bone crash happened in the town of Gladys on the afternoon of October 13, 2017.
Virginia State Police received the call about the wreck on Route 501/Brookneal Highway a little before 2 pm. Crash investigators determined that a Chey Cobalt had been crossing the highway from Long Island Road to Pigeon Run Road when a Toyota Corolla slammed into its passenger side.
Both vehicles contained a driver and juvenile passengers. Each suffered injuries, with one needing to be flown by helicopter to Lynchburg General Hospital. News reports do not identify the most-severely injured person.
Neither driver was immediately cited for causing the T-bone crash. Troopers will need to determine which person had right of way and what the drivers were doing in the moments leading up to the collision. An important fact law enforcement officials will have to weigh is that the driver entering the highway from Long Island Road faced a stop sign.
Section 46.2-821 of the Virginia Code states
The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection on a highway controlled by a stop sign shall, immediately before entering such intersection, stop at a clearly marked stop line, or, in the absence of a stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, in the absence of a marked crosswalk, stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. Before proceeding, he shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of any vehicle approaching on such other highway from either direction.
Simplified, the statute places legal duties on drivers to stop, watch, and wait. Neglecting to meet those duties and causing a crash like this T-bone in Gladys would make the negligent driver responsible for settling personal injury insurance claims filed by or in the name of all the other people hurt in the wreck.
Statistical analyses of car and truck crash claims conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that side impact collisions account for more than 50 percent of reported wrecks and 18 percent of wrecks in which at least one person dies. Avoiding those outcomes often comes down to just excising patience and making the effort to look for vehicles approaching an intersection.
Both drivers and the parents of the children injured in the T-bone crash south of Lynchburg would benefit from consulting with a Virginia personal injury lawyer. Speaking with an experienced plaintiff’s attorney would help them stay up-to-date of the crash investigation and provide important insights on how to deal with insurance company representatives.