A gas explosion very early in the morning of August 16, 2014, sent six residents of Royal Terrace Apartments in Danville, Virginia (VA), to hospitals to receive treatments for burns and other injuries. Each victim is expected to survive, but the blast and resulting fire merit particular attention.
According to police, a car crashing into the building near the intersection of Guildford Street and Arnett Boulevard severed natural gas lines. The driver of the vehicle apparently crossed several lanes of traffic before running off the road. He has been cited for driving while under the influence and driving without a license. In all, 14 people have been displaced and must now find new places to live.
This Danville accident brings together, in a terrible way, many of the problems my Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I deal with every day. DUI/DWI, fixed object collisions cased by reckless, and/or fatigued drivers and the ever-present dangers of fire. When the apartment residents went to bed on a Friday night, probably none expected to be awakened in life-threatening circumstances mere hours later. That is exactly what happened, however, because another person made the negligent and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
No vehicle is safe when operated by a drunk or drugged driver, when it leaves its lane or it goes off the road. Avoiding those dangers is often quite simple. While wishing the people burned and hurt in this crash and subsequent explosion full and rapid recoveries, I also express my hope that more individuals consistently make safe and responsible decisions about when -- and when not -- to drive.