A fiery wreck in Round Hill, Virginia (VA), on the afternoon of December 13, 2016, left a tractor-trailer operator dead and a person in a car hospitalized with injuries. Police believe the driver of the smaller vehicle caused the deadly crash on Route 7 through Loudon County.
Multiple news outlets have identified the deceased big rig driver as 36-year-old Thomas D/ Taylor. Investigators said that Taylor lost control of his truck while swerving to avoid the car that pulled out of a driveway and cut him off. After Taylor clipped the front end of the car, his tractor-trailer overturned and burst into flames. He died at the scene. Charges may be filed against the surviving driver of the car.
Yielding right of way when entering a highway is essential to protecting everyone's life and health. This tragedy in Northern Virginia shows the worst of what can happen when one driver fails to make sure enough time and space exist to move into or across traffic while avoiding a crash.
This fatal traffic accident also highlights the dangers people in cars can pose to commercial truck drivers. Drivers in smaller vehicles often try to beat big rigs through intersections or to pass semis with little room to do so safely. Stopping suddenly or quickly changing lanes are not options for tractor-trailers, so cutting them off sets the stage for a wreck that usually results in severe injuries and, sadly, deaths.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the truck driver who lost his life in Round Hill. We also urge all drivers to exercise patience and caution when exiting driveways.