Driver Charged With DUI After Critically Injuring Bike Rider in Virginia Beach

A crash in Virginia Beach on the night of Easter 2022 sent a bicyclist to the hospital with critical injuries. The driver of the car involved in the collision did not get hurt, but police filed several charges for criminal and traffic violations.

According to news reports, emergency dispatchers first received calls about the crash at 8:40 pm on April 17, 2022. Police and EMT responded to the scene at the intersection of Lynnhaven Parkway and Holland Road Police, where they found the bike rider severely injured. The rider was then transported the person to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, where they remained the next day.

Investigators also determined that the driver of a 2005 Mazda RX-8 was impaired. The driver faces preliminary charges of driving under the influence, DUI maiming and “several traffic offenses.” Other charges may follow.

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Authorities released few other details while continuing to investigate the crash. However, at least one official did disclose that the bike rider was using a crosswalk at the time of the collision.

Drivers Must Yield to People in Crosswalks

This car-bike crash happened at a major, heavily trafficked intersection. Crossing either Lynnhaven Parkway or Holland Road can take some time, even while riding a bicycle. That reality partly explains why crosswalks connect each of the corners at the intersection. People who are not in vehicles must have safe ways to cross the streets.

Virginia state law also recognizes that pedestrians and bike riders may take more time than a stoplight cycle allows. Section 46.2-924 of the Virginia Code specifies drivers must wait to enter an intersection until people in crosswalks have safely reached the opposite curb.

While it remains unclear whether the driver involved in this collision left their light too early or attempted to turn without checking for the presence of someone in the intersection, the terrible outcome undeniably occurred. Failing to yield right of way almost killed the bicyclist.

If the bike rider exercises their right to file personal injury claims, the driver’s insurance may attempt to avoid liability by arguing contributory negligence. Virginia courts recognize the outdated and unjust legal principle that crash victims forfeit their claims for compensation if they share any portion of the fault for the collision in which they suffered injuries.

For instance, the insurance company might try to find evidence that the bicyclist rode without reflectors and a headlight. Crossing against the light could also complicate the case for receiving a settlement or jury award for the payment of medical bills, the replacement of lost wages and compensation of pain and suffering.

Countering accusations of contributory negligence is possible. Consulting with a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney who has helped many other bike crash victims will help in this regard.

EJL