An elderly woman and her pet dog died. Two innocent victims went to the hospital with injuries. One other driver had their car totaled.

The above listing provides only a partial picture of the irreversible harms resulting from a five-vehicle crash in the Tuckahoe community of Henrico County, Virginia (VA).

According to news reports, the incident began near the University of Richmond at the intersection of College Road and River Road. Wrecks then extended for almost a quarter mile to Ridge Road.

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A preliminary investigation, based on witness accounts, revealed this order of events:

[A] Chevy Silverado truck was going west on River Road, crossed into oncoming traffic and sideswiped a Lexus SUV. The truck continued west, rear-ending a Ford sedan. That pushed the Ford into the eastbound lane, where an Audi SUV struck the Ford, crashing through a fence. The truck continued west, where it hit a Chevrolet SUV waiting to make a turn from Westhampton Parkway. The truck continued across an embankment, flipping onto its roof at S. Ridge Road and River Road, where the driver of the truck crawled out of the vehicle.

Police charged the truck driver with driving under the influence, identifying him as a 62-year-old resident of Gloucester, VA. Authorities also later identified the woman who lost her life as 80-year-old Lorena B. Harris of Richmond.

One Cause for Many Wrecks

If evidence supports the DUI charge, impaired driving caused each of the collisions along River Road. Having too many drinks or abusing drugs rendered the pickup driver unable to control his vehicle. A sober driver probably would not have crossed the double yellow lines when approaching College Rod.

A sober driver might also have reacted better after sideswiping a single vehicle. Such speculation, however, does nothing to change the facts of the multivehicle crash that did occur.

The people injured and the family of the woman who died now face long and difficult struggles to heal. Settling or winning lawsuits against the at-fault driver might provide some financial relief. Sadly, securing monetary compensation will not bring back a loved one or end all emotional suffering.

Cases may also become complicated due to the large number of people who have legitimate claims. The at-fault driver almost definitely does not carry enough liability coverage to pay two injury settlements, a wrongful death settlement and four property claims.

Crash victims who carry uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage through their own insurance policies have a solution. Filing a UM/UIM claim does not guarantee payment, but an experienced plaintiff’s attorney will be able to help navigate the process.

EJL