A 71-year-old died after being struck by a car in Norfolk, Virginia (VA). The fatal collision happened in the 2700 block of Church Street near the intersection with E 27th Street.

Norfolk Police responded to the scene of the crash at around 7:15 pm on February 7, 2022. They discovered the pedestrian seriously injured and had the person transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Later, officials publicly identified the pedestrian as Eugene Murphy and announced that Murphy had died from his injuries.

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No information is available on what caused the crash. News reports indicate only that investigators do not suspect the driver was speeding or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

Liability Will Depend on Who Had Right of Way

My Virginia Beach-based wrongful death law firm colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the fiends and family of the man who lost his life. Sadly, this crash on Church Street in Norfolk proves a point the Virginia Driver’s Manual makes in bold test: “Pedestrians are especially prone to serious injury when struck.”

The handbook issued by the state Division of Motor Vehicles also lists these essential tips for sharing the road safely with pedestrians while behind the wheel of a car or truck:

  • Be careful around schools, playgrounds and in residential areas where small children may be playing or crossing the street.
  • Look out for the elderly, who may have poor vision and hearing. Remember that the elderly and people with disabilities may move slowly.
  • Be especially aware of pedestrians when making a right or left turn. They have the right-of-way. Allow pedestrians to completely cross the street before beginning your turn.
  • Passing at a crosswalk is illegal. You may not see pedestrians crossing the road in front of other vehicles.
  • Be alert for pedestrians crossing the road. Stop and remain stopped until pedestrians have passed the lane in which your vehicle is stopped.
  • Drivers are required to come to a full stop for a pedestrian using a cane or guide dog, as this indicates blindness or vision impairment.

The intersection of Church Street and E 27th Street is marked with crosswalks and controlled by traffic lights. Drivers going through the intersection should know to watch for pedestrians, and pedestrians should have clear indications of when traffic has stopped so they can cross without worrying too much about being hit.

Determining whether the driver or the person on foot had the right of way will be key to deciding whether the driver is charged with causing the crash and, therefore, has liability for settling insurance claims for a wrongful death.

EJL