A Richmond-area teenager suffered critical injuries when a car hit him in a crosswalk in a Chesterfield County, Virginia (VA), neighborhood on the afternoon of April 13, 2016. The crash occurred at the intersection of Meadowdale Boulevard and Dalebrook Drive.
Police did not immediately file charges against the car's driver, continuing their investigation throughout the night. Residents of the neighborhood off Chippenham Parkway suggested that speeding played a role in causing the nearly fatal pedestrian accident. As one person told a reporter from local ABC television affiliate WRIC, "They’re [drivers] coming at too fast of a speed and not even just the highway, it's coming down the street, It's at too fast of a speed.”
The intersection is also controlled by stop signs, so police will need to look into whether the driver entered the occupied crosswalk incorrectly and unsafely. Virginia law gives all pedestrians crossing a street in a crosswalk right of way.
Explanations for why the driver may have failed to see and stop for the teen in the roadway include distraction and unfamiliarity with the roads off the highway. Neither inattention nor confusion can stand up as a defense against fault and liability, however. All drivers have duties to watch for individuals on foot and to take necessary cautions to avoid causing pedestrians harm.
My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I wish the injured teen a full and rapid recovery. We also hope everyone who learns of this crash takes the lesson to share the road respectfully with pedestrians to heart.