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Separate Crashes Kill, Injure Pedestrians in Norfolk and Virginia Beach

Just before 6 am, February 4, 2015, a pickup truck hit and killed an elderly man using a crosswalk to cross Tidewater Drive in Norfolk, Virginia (VA). Almost exactly 12 hours earlier, and about 10 miles away, a car struck and critically injured a pedestrian on Holland Road in Virginia Beach. Both the fatal accident and the crash that sent a man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries remained under investigation.



Details on why either of the pedestrian accidents occurred were not released to reporters. Possible explanations include poor visibility due to the rising and setting, respectively, of the Sun; distractions for the drivers such as cellphone use; driver impairment; and recklessness by the people walking through traffic. The last possibility could presumably be quickly dismissed in the Norfolk incident because pedestrians using crosswalks are almost presumed to have right of way under Virginia law.

The Virginia Beach crash happened while the man on foot was reportedly walking with cars and trucks. The closest intersection to where the pedestrian was hit, Holland and Shipps Corner Road, is marked with crosswalks, but it is not obvious that he was in one.

Regardless of who is ultimately determined to be at fault for either of the crashes, both illustrate the importance of pedestrians and drivers sharing the road safely and respectfully. Just as walkers and joggers must watch for approaching vehicles, drivers must keep a watch out for people stepping off curbs. Even a moment's lapse in attention or the slightest miscalculation of distance and speed can result in tragedy.


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