A rear-end collision between two tractor-trailers in Culpeper, Virginia (VA), on the morning of July 2, 2014, left one trucker dead and the other truck operator with injuries that required hospital treatment. A person behind the wheel of a car that had been stopped at a traffic light to make a turn at the intersection of Route 15/29 and Route 663 also sustained serious injuries. The rural highways where the fatal accident occurred are also known as James Madison Highway and Althanus Road.
The individual operating a produce truck initiated the crash when he drove into the back of the second tractor-trailer, which was transporting lumber. Police could not immediately determine the cause of the crash, but speed, driver distraction, medical emergency, mechanical failure, drowsiness and impairment by drugs or alcohol must all be considered.
Stopping on the highway, even at highly visible traffic signals, can be dangerous. Drivers coming up on slowing and stopped vehicles must recognize and respond appropriately to such changing conditions. When they do not, avoidable tragedies like this one in Culpeper occur.
My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I wish the survivors of the wreck full and speedy recoveries. We recognize, though, that even if their wounds turn out to be relatively minor, their medical expense and other financial impacts could be high. Commercial truck drivers and the companies that employ such individuals are required to carry insurance that provides compensation to victims of accidents they cause. Depending on the findings from the wreck investigation, the victims may have grounds for seeking payments through those policies.