A woman who lives in Zuni, Virginia (VA), ended up hospitalized in Norfolk with serious injuries after a box truck driver collided with her SUV in Currituck County, North Carolina (NC). The crash happened on U.S. 158/Caratoke Highway near Powells Point on the morning of June 14, 2021.
State Highway Patrol received the first reports of the collision at 10:32 am. Troopers arrived to a scene where both the SUV and the box truck had flipped onto their sides. Two people in the truck, which had been on a delivery run for a mattress and bedding supply company, walked away with minor injuries. The 64-year-old woman behind the wheel of the SUV needed to be flown by helicopter back to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for emergency medical treatment.
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Law enforcement statements indicate the box truck driver caused the crash by speeding through a curve on the highway. A quote in the Coastland Times reads,
It appeared the [truck] driver straightened out the curve … . There is a little turn right there and he went straight ahead with no braking. When he went left of center, he crossed into the westbound lane and the collision occurred in the middle of the westbound lane. [The SUV driver], heading west in the inside lane, steered right to try and avoid him when he came into her lane. He struck her and she spun around and overturned as well.
While the official investigation into this incident continues, the truck driver already faces charges for careless and reckless driving and for crossing the center line of a highway.
Small Mistakes Can Create Large Tragedies
Section 20-140 of the North Carolina General Statutes defines reckless driving in two ways. The first is probably what most people picture when they try to imagine a driver acting recklessly. The second is what appears to have happened on U.S. 158 near Powells Point.
Under the statute, a person can be charged with reckless driving when evidence shows they acted “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others.” The charge can also be made when a driver operates “upon a highway or any public vehicular area without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.”
Or, in Currituck County, a box truck driver failing to slow down while navigating a curve results in an innocent woman who had been traveling on the opposite of the highway spending days or weeks in intensive care.
The hospitalized woman likely has a strong case to make for collecting on insurance claims for medical expenses, lost wages and reduced lifetime earnings, and compensation for pain and suffering. Taking on the company’s insurance provider will not be easy, however. Additional complications may arise from the fact that even though the crash happened in North Carolina, all the people involved reside in Virginia.
Partnering with a local personal injury law firm whose attorneys have experience representing clients in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as with handling cases involving truck drivers who cross state lines, will make it easier for the woman to hold the at-fault truck operator and the delivery company accountable.