Motorists are advised to share the road with bicyclists. That iss not what happened in a 2010 car crash that killed a Newport News, Virginia (VA), man on a bike. In fact, it's doubtful that the man even saw the car coming as he was riding along a sidewalk near Jefferson Avenue and Francisco Way.
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The highly preventable accident was caused when the driver of a SUV got into a domestic dispute with his girlfriend while driving. The girlfriend tried to grab the steering wheel and the driver lost control of the SUV, he veered into oncoming traffic where he was hit by a van. Then the unthinkable happened, the SUV overturned and slammed down on the bike rider. Now nearly a year later the at-fault driver pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with seven years suspended. The passenger who caused the fatal accident was also charged with involuntary manslaughter. She is scheduled to stand trial in July.
Two factors contributed to the fatal crasht. The main factor of course being that the driver was distracted. Distracted driving was the preventable part. If people would just focus on driving then hundreds of lives could be saved.
The second factor was that the deceased accident victim was riding a bicycle. Our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys know that if you are in an accident with a car while riding a bike, you are at risk for very serious injuries and sometimes, such in this case, death. Fatalities are more common than you would think for bicycle riders, the latest data available shows that 716 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2008. In addition, 52,000 cyclists were injured in accidents in 2008, a 21 percent increase.
As Virginia wrongful death attorneys, we know that the life of the young man on the bike is priceless. We have helped many clients through the difficult period of losing a loved one by a negligent driver. We have successfully maintained their legal rights in this trying time when they may have otherwise have been compromised.