Two motorcycle riders suffered serious injuries when a van driver crossed the center line of Little Florida Road in Poquoson, Virginia (VA), and struck them head-on. The nearly fatal crash occurred near the intersection of Odd Road on the afternoon of January 3, 2016.
The victims are a married couple, and the husband sustained life-threatening injuries. According to a follow-up report on the wreck, the at-fault van driver was charged by state police with maiming, operating a vehicle without permission and driving under the influence of drugs.
Under Virginia law, a charge of DUI maiming indicates the suspect inflicted injuries likely to produce "permanent and significant physical impairment" on a victim. Details on which drugs the van driver had taken before crashing into the motorcyclists in Poquoson have not been released.
Federal researchers recently noted that as rates of drunk driving have declined steadily over the last decade, larger numbers of people have started driving while under the influence of drugs. Many prescription medications and illegal drugs impair the ability to drive. Opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, and antianxiety medications like Xanax can be particularly problematic because they are widely prescribed and can leave users at risk for falling asleep at the wheel and losing muscle coordination.
No one impaired by drugs or alcohol should ever drive. Doing so is reckless, and too many accidents that result in deaths and permanent disabilities are caused by impaired driving. My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I hope that people who learn of wrecks like this one in Poquoson take that message to heart.