Robert Wade Brooks was driving his Ford Escort on Route 199 on the overpass of Interstate 64 (I-64) when his life came to a tragic end. Mr. Brooks’ car was hit by a wrong-way driver resulting in his death, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

It’s always tough to hear about a loss of life in a car wreck, but it’s especially frustrating to hear about accidents that are preventable, and many wrong-way driving accidents are exactly that. We don’t know why the at-fault driver was traveling the wrong way on the road, but we do know they were charged with reckless driving.  

Sadly, wrong-way driving accidents are not uncommon in Hampton Roads. Two fatal wrong-way driving wrecks occurred (on I-264 and I-295) just a few months ago. However, these types of accidents are not relegated to Virginia (VA). In fact, roughly 350 people die every year in the U.S. in wrong-way car crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration. From 1996 through 2000, over 1,700 people lost their life in wrong-way wrecks.

But statistics aside, we cannot lose sight of the fact that a man was killed in a terrible accident. I want to send my deepest sympathies to Mr. Brooks’ family. Just imagine going about your day and then getting a call from the police saying a loved one was killed in a car crash. It’s a pain I wish no one had to suffer.

I was just with a client at a traffic case against the man who killed this client’s son in a wreck. The judge let the bad driver off on the criminal charge of reckless driving. It was very frustrating to the victim’s family. I plan to get the young man’s dad, mother, and his child some justice in the civil case. However, the charge of reckless even with a conviction seems a small price for the loss of life caused by dangerous motor vehicle operation out of which another person dies.