Two related crashes on the interstate beltway around Richmond, Virginia (VA), left two people hospitalized and a survivor of the earlier collision dead. The first wreck happened a little before 6:40 am on October 24, 2017.
Virginia State Police received an initial call about a crash between an Acura sedan and an SUV on northbound I-295 near the Creighton Road exit in Henrico County. They later had the driver of the Acura transported to a hospital with injuries.
The man behind the wheel of the SUV freed himself from his overturned vehicle and walked over to the median. A third man then pulled over and went to the SUV driver to ask if he needed first-aid or other assistance.
When a Toyota Tundra came up on the overturned SUV, its driver swerved to his left to avoid crashing into the wrecked vehicle and to prevent a crash with a tractor-trailer to his right. The pickup truck then struck the two men standing in the median. The SUV driver died, and the Good Samaritan suffered injuries that news reports characterized as serious but not life-threatening.
Such pedestrian crashes on interstates happen more frequently than most people realize. A special report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed the following facts:
- Nearly 10 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the United States occur on interstates.
- Some 12 percent of deadly pedestrian crashes happen on interstates.
- “Unintended” pedestrians, defined as those who experience breakdowns or earlier crashes, account for almost one-third of people hit on interstate shoulders or medians.
- With half of interstate pedestrian crashes happening at night and along stretches of highway that lack lighting, drivers often tell authorities they “did not see the pedestrian until it was too late to react.”
Troopers announced their intentions to issue charges in relation to both Richmond-area crashes, but they did not specify which drivers they intended to cite or what the alleged offense would be. The complicated, confusing and tragic nature of these related crashes on I-295 in Henrico County make a strong argument for the injured men and the family of the man who lost his life to consult with experienced and caring personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys.
The drivers who get charged for causing the wrecks should have responsibility for settling insurance claims. But the laws of Virginia do not automatically make drivers charged with violating traffic regulations negligent for insurance purposes. While evidence collected by law enforcement officials can be used for insurance purposes, legal representatives for the allegedly at-fault drivers can argue that the people who got injured or killed contributed to causing the harms they suffered. Partnering with a plaintiff’s attorney with a strong track record in personal injury and wrongful death cases will help the victims take on the insurance companies.