A section of interstate near the Virginia Beach Oceanfront known for deadly collisions saw a new fatal crash on the morning of August 16, 2017. At 7:43 am, a Ford Taurus crossed the median of I-264 on the Birdneck Road overpass and struck two other vehicles head-on. Only one of the three drivers involved in the wreck survived.
State Police who responded to the deadly accident did not have an explanation for why the man behind the wheel of the Taurus lost control and ran across the grassy median. They did note that east- and westbound lane of the highway are not separated by guardrails or concrete barriers. A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation told the Virginian-Pilot that the agency will look into adding safety features to that section of I-264.
VDOT has reason to act because a nearly identical collision happened in almost the exact same location on December 9, 2016. In that incident, two people lost their lives and six others went to hospitals with injuries.
The most-recent wreck saw the at-fault driver and the 23-year-old driver of a Suzuki Sidekick die at the scene. The woman driving the Toyota Corolla which absorbed the first impact from the out-of-control Ford Taurus received relatively minor injuries.
Virginia law places a high duty on drivers to stay in their own lane and off medians unless an emergency occurs and they can bring their vehicle to a quick, controlled stop. Explanations for running off the road to the left range from falling asleep at the wheel to becoming distracted to experiencing a mechanical problem or suffering a medical emergency. If crash investigators discover the Ford Taurus driver acted negligently in some way, his insurance company would have responsibility for settling wrongful death and personal insurance claims.
Even when an at-fault driver dies in the wreck he or she caused, the person’s insurance policy remains in effect. A designated family member of the Suzuki driver would act as the plaintiff in any wrongful death case stemming from this tragedy on I-264 at Birdneck.
My Virginia Beach-based personal injury and wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and families of the deceased. We also hope the injured woman recovers quickly and completely.