Police in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), have charged a man for driving under the influence of prescription painkillers in connection with a crash near the intersection of Kempsville Road and Lowery Road on June 3, 2014. According to news reports, a car’s driver rammed into the back of a moped being ridden by a woman who had just finished her shift at a nearby Walmart. The scooter rider survived the collision but later died from her injuries at the hospital.
The man arrested for hitting and killing the scooter rider admitted to WAVY-TV 10 that he had several bottles of narcotic painkillers in the glove compartment of his car but denied even being involved in an accident. A court trail may be needed to fully determine his guilt or innocence. Law enforcement officials are asking anyone who witnessed the wreck to contact them at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-6887) to share what they know.
Regardless of the outcome of the full police investigation, the fatal rear-end collision highlights the possible dangers of driving after using prescription medications that produce many of the same effects of drinking too much alcohol. Opioid painkillers, in particular, slow users’ reflexes, impair their decision making and make controlling one’s body difficult.
As a Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney particularly concerned with the overprescribing and misuse of dangerous prescription drugs, I have also seen too many lives ruined and ended by drunk and drugged drivers. To see both preventable tragedies appear to collide in this deadly Norfolk moped crash truly saddens me. People who take opioid painkillers and other controlled medications for even legitimate health reasons must avoid getting behind the wheel. The possibility of doing irreparable harm while driving under the influence is simply too high a risk to take.