An early morning collision between a Jeep and a motorcycle in Virginia Beach, VA, left the motorcyclist dead and the woman driving the larger vehicle facing charges. The fatal crash happened shortly after midnight on October 4, 2020, near the interchange between I-264 and Lynnhaven Parkway.
State police and emergency medical personnel declared the motorcycle rider dead at the scene. He has been identified publicly only as a 22-year-old man originally from Florida.
The woman behind the wheel of the Jeep is a resident of Norfolk, She survived the crash without suffering injuries. Authorities took her into custody and filed a preliminary charge of involuntary manslaughter.
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Other than a mention in a WAVY-10 news piece that “police believe alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident,” few other details are known. For instance, was a negligent lane change the precipitating event? Perhaps a rear-end collision occurred. Were either the motorcycle or jeep exiting or entering the interstate? And were either of the people legally intoxicated by having a blood alcohol concentration above .08?
Questions Require Answers
Motorcycle riders are always at risk from negligent and reckless drivers. A driver who makes the choice to take the wheel after having too much to drink endangers everyone. When the worst happens, injured crash victims and the families of people who lose their lives have legal rights to seek compensation from at-fault drivers.
We cannot be sure, however, that the driver of the Jeep is totally to blame for this deadly collision on I-264 in Virginia Beach. State troopers must complete their investigation and issue a report before it is clear that the involuntary manslaughter charge and possibly others can be sustained through a prosecution and conviction.
The official report will also contain essential information regarding whether grounds for filing a wrongful death claim exist. In Virginia, succeeding in securing an auto insurance settlement or winning a civil lawsuit jury award requires showing that the other driver was nearly 100 percent to blame for causing the crash. The police should include enough detail in their report to indicate if this was the case for the deadly collision near Lynnhaven Parkway.
Regardless of what investigators find, the public disclosure of the fact that alcohol use played a role in causing this preventable loss of life should remind everyone never to drink and drive. Even a single beer, glass of wine or shot of liquor can cloud judgment and slow reaction time. The safest driving is done while sober.