A near-fatal broadside collision in Waynesboro, Virginia (VA), on August 21, 2014, appears to have been caused by a driver who was impaired by alcohol.
Police have charged a 21-year-old man who was behind the wheel of a Mustang with driving under the influence, and they are considering more serious charges for causing injuries while DUI/DWI. According to television station WHSV-3, the at-fault driver sideswiped a Mercedes that was exiting I-64 onto S. Delphine Avenue. The charged man also suffered serious injuries, but the person in the vehicle he struck had to airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center because his wounds were too severe to be treated adequately at a nearby hospital.
Merging onto and leaving a highway always poses significant risks to everyone in the vicinity. The entering or exiting driving must make sure he or she has enough space and speed to merge safely, and other drivers must slow down, speed up or change lanes to create openings. When one of the drivers involved in this ballet of multi-ton vehicles is impaired by drugs or alcohol, excessively fatigued, reckless or simply distracted, accidents that claim lives and cause permanent disabilities can occur. One of these highly avoidable and preventable scenarios played out in Waynesboro.
As Virginia Beach-based personal injury lawyers, my colleagues and I have too much firsthand knowledge of the damage and loss that can result from unsafe merges, exits and lane changes on I-64. We urge anyone reading this to exercise extreme caution when approaching or using on-ramps and off-ramps, when moving over to make room for other vehicles and when changing lanes to pass. Doing less can lead to irreversible harm.