A rear-end collision in Martinsville, Virginia (VA), on the afternoon of January 9, 2018, turned into a chain reaction and a hit-and-run incident. It also involved alleged alcohol use, sent two innocent people to the hospital with serious injuries and left the at-fault driver facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.
Martinsville Police responded to the report of the three-vehicle wreck at around 3:20 pm. They determined that a man driving a pickup truck had hit a car from behind at a stop light near the intersection of Commonwealth Boulevard and VC Drive. That initial impact pushed the car forward into another vehicle.
The pickup driver fled on foot as police arrived, but authorities quickly apprehended him when witnesses pointed out where he had run to. He has since been charged with reckless driving and driving with a revoked license. The more serious charges filed against him are felonies for causing a hit-and-run collision that inflicted injuries and for driving under the influence for at least the third time.
News reports do not include details on the nature of the injuries suffered by the crash victims who were taken to SOVAH Health of Martinsville for treatment. My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I wish those individuals complete and rapid recoveries.
We also recognize how this incident on Commonwealth Boulevard in Martinsville illustrates the dangers posed by drivers who repeatedly take the wheel while drunk or stoned. During 2015, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 4,917 injuries in alcohol-related crashes. Data also show that 510 of those DUI crashes turned into hit-and-run incidents. Following hit-and-run as chargeable offenses committed by the drunk drivers identified in the DMV statistics were following too closely and failing to yield, both of which can lead to a rear-end collision.
The driver who fled the scene in Martinsville will face criminal consequences, but he probably does not have insurance coverage. When he lost his license to an earlier DUI conviction, he most likely let his auto insurance policy expire or had it cancelled by the company who had issued it. This would leave the people he hurt potentially needing to pay for all their own medical care. Consulting with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer will help the injured individuals know what their legal options are for seeking compensation and monetary damages after being hospitalized by an uninsured driver.