A hit-and-run driver who caused a four-vehicle pile-up on I-64 just west of downtown Richmond, Virginia (VA), is being sought by state police. The initial rear-end collision that set off a chain reaction accident appears to have stemmed from the suspect's lack of attention. Anyone who saw the crash is being asked to share information by calling (804) 674-2000.
A state police report concerning the interstate accident that was cited by numerous news outlets is worth quoting to illustrate the havoc a distracted driver can wreak: "Witnesses reported the driver of the hit-and-run vehicle appeared to be talking on a cell phone when the crash happened."
The crash occurred at the beginning of evening rush hour near the exits for W. Broad Street and Glenside Road. A woman driving a Saturn who the at-fault driver struck from behind with his or her SUV ended up hospitalized with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.
As Virginia personal injury lawyers, my colleagues and I see almost each day how drivers who allow phone conversations and text message exchanges on smartphones take their eyes and minds of the road hurt and kill others. Increasing legal penalties for distracted driving do not seem to be discouraging enough Virginians from picking up electronic devices while behind the wheel. Certianly, the willingness of the person who allegedly caused the I-64 wreck in Richmond indicates he or she feels unthreatened by anything like a traffic ticket requiring the payment of a small fine.
Still, every driver must take to heart the message that distracted driving is at least as dangerous as drunk or drugged driving. Until that happens, too many responsible people will suffer the consequences or others' negligence and irresponsibility.