Two men traveling through Botetourt County, Virginia (VA), lost their lives when a car coming from the opposite direction on U.S. 220/Botetourt Road crossed the center line of the rural two-lane highway and collided with them head-on. The fatal wreck occurred shortly before 1 pm on June 30, 2015.
The at-fault driver survived the crash with serious injuries and will likely face charges. Police do not yet know why she could not stay on her side of the road and out of the path of oncoming traffic, but they collected enough evidence at the scene to determine that she bore responsibility for creating the deadly collision.
Stretches of road like the one where this deadly wreck happened are particularly prone to serving as sites for head-on collisions. Only a double yellow line separates vehicles going 55 mph or faster as they enter and emerge from a curve. Drivers must be alert and in full control of their cars or trucks in order to avoid drifting out their own lanes. Small misjudgments and lapses in attention easily set the stage for irreversible tragedies.
Still, no matter how understandable this double loss of life in the heart of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests may be, it was most likely also completely preventable. Slowing down, keeping eyes on the road and steering steadily instead of jerking the wheel hard to one side ensures one's car or truck remains between the lines and out of the way of other vehicles.