Police originally thought that a double fatal car crash in the Indian River section of Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), had claimed the lives of the driver and a passenger. A more thorough investigation into the incident that occurred at around 10 pm on March 10, 2018, revealed that the deadly wreck in the 2200 block of Paramount Ave. off S. Military Highway involved a female pedestrian. Both people died at the scene -- the pedestrian from the impact by the car, and the driver from slamming into a tree.
The investigative team deployed by the Chesapeake Police Department arrived at no immediate explanation for why the silver Jaguar ran off the road and struck the woman on the bike and pedestrian path that runs along the west-side shoulder of Paramount Avenue. The street runs past several residential subdivisions and includes many curves. Losing control while speeding and falling asleep at the wheel will need to be considered. Also, no word has been issued whether alcohol or drugs were involved.
Two things are indisputable. First, Virginia law prohibits drivers from getting up on a sidewalk or bike path. When a driver runs off the road, the lives and physical health of pedestrians and bicyclists are put at risk.
The other sad fact is this fatal collision in Chesapeake confirms the deadly risks pedestrians face from negligent or reckless drivers. During 2017, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 1,608 crashes involving pedestrians. Those wrecks killed 114 pedestrians and left another 1,571 pedestrians with injuries serious enough to require medical treatment. Eight of the deceased crash victims were not in the roadway, while 53 of the injured pedestrian were on sidewalks or highway shoulders and medians.
Chesapeake was also a major site of crashes of all types during 2017. The DMV statistics show that the city experienced 2,377 wrecks, which resulted in 19 deaths and 1,838 injuries.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our heartfelt condolences out to the friends and family members of the female pedestrian who got killed while walking along Paramount Avenue. We ask all drivers in Chesapeake and other localities to keep an eye out for people on foot and bikes at all times. Drivers must also do all they can to keep their vehicles on the road. Small errors and brief moments of inattention behind the wheel can result in irreversible tragedies.