A head-on collision in Augusta County, Virginia (VA), killed both drivers and sent three passengers to hospitals with serious injuries. Two young children were among the hospitalized victims of the crash in the 1600 block of U.S. 340/Eastside Highway in the community of Crimora.
Virginia State Police responded to the wreck about four miles north of Waynesboro. The determined that just before noon on November 26, 2017, the woman driving a Toyota 4-Runner crossed the center line of the highway and collided with an oncoming Ford F-150. Both of the drivers died at the scene, while a 3-year-old and an adult man were rescued from the SUV. An 11-year-old in the pickup also sustained injuries.
The fatal head-on collision occurred in a no-passing zone of Eastside Highway, where the speed limit is 55 mph and the two lanes are divided by a solid yellow line and a dashed yellow line. News reports do not contain details on why the driver of the SUV left her own lane. Distraction often accounts for deadly tragedies like this one in Augusta County. In materials prepared for its annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration cautioned, “It takes about five seconds, on average, to read or send a text. Not a lot of time. But, in that span of time, with your eyes on your phone and not on the road, a vehicle travelling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field. In that instant, over that distance, a life can be taken -- maybe even yours. Distracted driving killed 3,477 people on America’s roads in 2015.”
The agency further noted that “distracted driving is also about more than just electronic diversions. It’s anything you’re doing behind the wheel that undermines safe driving, including eating and drinking, fiddling with the music or the A/C, or checking yourself out in the mirror. Recently, a driver even became distracted by her dog who was riding with her. She took her eyes off the road, crossed the center line, and crashed head-on into a sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle in Davis County, Utah.”
Regardless of why this crash in central Virginia occurred, my Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I send out deepest condolences out to the families and friends of the drivers who lost their lives. The parents of the injured children could benefit from consulting with a caring and knowledgeable plaintiff’s attorney who has helped young car crash victims get their medical bills covered.