A collision between a car and a pickup truck near the central Virginia-North Carolina border on the afternoon of December 11, 2017 left both drivers dead and two car passengers with life-threatening injuries. The deadly wreck happened near the intersection of VA Route 47 and Twin Drive in Mecklenburg County.
Virginia State Police received the report of the crash at around 5 pm. They determined that the southbound car had crossed the center line of Route 47 and struck the pickup. Both drivers had lived in Chase City, VA, and both were declared dead at the scene.
The injured passengers had been riding in the car. They were transported to Southside Community Hospital in critical condition. News reports do not include updates on the nature of their injuries or on physicians’ expectations for whether either person will make a full recovery.
Investigators did not have an immediate explanation for why the woman behind the wheel of the car wound up driving into the path of oncoming traffic. Where the fatal head-on collision occurred, Route 47 is a two-lane highway in a rural part of Mecklenburg County that is divided by a double yellow line. Virginia state law prohibits drivers to pass on such stretches of highway, but a driver is allowed to briefly move right in order to get around a pedestrian or bike rider. No publicly available information indicates that the driver of the car had a statutorily valid reason to cross the center line.
Other possible explanations include drowsy driving, speeding and becoming distracted. Taking one’s eyes and mind off the road is an underlying cause of many types of crashes that inflict injuries and result in deaths, and distracted driving can prove especially dangerous at high speeds when a vehicle can travel several hundred feet in less than a minute.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and families of the drivers from Chase City who lost their lives. We also hope the injured passengers make full and rapid returns to health. Since the reason for the head-on collision are not clear, all the victims could benefit from consulting with a lawyer who has experience helping people deal with insurance company representatives. Insurers may pressure grieving family members and injured survivors facing steep medical bills and significant time out of work to accept quick, inadequate settlements. Enlisting the advice and representation of a plaintiff’s attorney will allow the victims to protect their rights and interests.