A 21-year-old driver faces multiple serious criminal charges following a deadly collision with a pedestrian in Norfolk, Virginia (VA). The fatal crash happened on westbound I-64 while the deceased victim was walking toward a disabled vehicle with a spare tire.

According to police, the crash happened a little after 2:20 am on Feb. 27, 2022. Authorities responded to the scene east of the ramps to Norview Avenue. Their initial investigation led them to determine that the driver of a 2007 Honda Accord had run onto the right shoulder of I-64 after losing control of their car while in the far left lane and crossing the other travel lanes.

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The out-of-control car struck a person identified in news reports as 23-year-old Donte Barlow. The impact killed the pedestrian immediately, and the car stopped only when it hit a Jersey barrier. It is unclear if the driver sustained injuries.

After taking the driver into custody, police charged the individual with driving under the influence, driving without a license and reckless driving/failing to control a vehicle. Authorities also said additional charges may be filed as their investigation into the deadly pedestrian crash continues.

Pedestrians and Others Are Always in Danger From Impaired Drivers

Drunk and drugged drivers take a terrible toll on roads and highways all across the United States. In Virginia alone during 2020, the Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 6,624 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 272 deaths and nearly 4,000 injuries that were serious enough to require hospital treatment.

While such numbers should definitely raise alarms, they also should not surprise anyone. Research has shown that consuming as few as two 12-oz. beers diminishes visual perception, reduces the ability to multitask, impairs judgment and changes a person’s mood—particularly their willingness to ignore the consequences of risky behaviors. By the fifth beer, which is generally associated with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10, a driver begins to experience slowed reactions, slurred speech and a reduced ability to stay in their lane and apply the brakes in a timely manner. The legal limit for a driver’s BAC in Virginia is 0.08.

Tragically, an impaired driver’s inability to maintain control of their car led to the completely preventable death of a pedestrian on I-64 in Norfolk. My Virginia Beach-based wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the crash victim.

Compensation for the loss of their loved one is due from the at-fault driver. But an unlicensed driver may not have insurance coverage. In such a situation, claims can be filed under the uninsured motorist provisions of the victim’s own car insurance policy. Consulting with an experienced and empathetic plaintiff’s attorney will clarify how to navigate that process.

EJL