A dangerous lane change on the interstate through Hampton, Virginia (VA), left an innocent pickup truck driver dead. The fatal collision happened at around 9:30 am on March 24, 2021, and the woman who caused the crash faces multiple felony charges.
According to state police, a 21-year-old woman reached speeds in excess of 100 mph while traveling eastbound on I-64. When she attempted to change lanes near the Hampton Roads Center Parkway overpass, she hit a pickup truck and spun out before coming to a stop along a Jersey barrier.
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The force of the collision sent the pickup truck off the interstate and into a tree. The 36-year-old Williamsburg resident behind the wheel initial survived the crash but later died from his injuries at Riverside Regional Parkway.
The at-fault driver attempted to flee on foot, and state trooper quickly caught and arrested her. As of the following morning, the woman remained in jail without bond. Initial charges include reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, causing a hit-and-run collection, possession of marijuana, operating with no insurance and driving with an expired registration.
Virginia’s DWI Law Prohibits Drugged Driving
Section 18.2-266 of the Virginia Code makes it a criminal offense for a person older than 21 to operate a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The law also prohibits driving while under the influence of “any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle.”
The drugs explicitly listed in the statute are cocaine, methamphetamines and PCP. Since marijuana can affect users’ concentration, focus and decision making, it falls into the category of intoxicants that impair driving ability.
The Criminal Investigation Matters as Much as the Prosecution
My Virginia wrongful death law firm colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family of the young man who was killed so senselessly in this lane change crash on I-64 in Hampton. We also appreciate the efforts of the state troopers who responded so quickly and prevented the at-fault driver from succeeding in her attempt to flee the scene.
Having the woman in custody makes enforcing DWI, reckless driving and other laws possible. It also means that the investigation into the case will be as thorough as possible. All the evidence gathered by police can then be used to substantiate wrongful death claims.
Even though the at-fault driver reportedly did not carry insurance, the family of the deceased victim should be able to seek compensation by invoking uninsured motorist coverage. Each auto insurance policy issued in Virginia must include this provision. So, if the pickup driver was properly insured or included on a family member’s policy, pursuing a wrongful death claims will be possible.