Two hit-and-run collisions on opposite ends of the state sent three Virginia pedestrians to hospitals with serious injuries over the weekend of February 23-25, 2018. One of the victims was a 12-year-old girl using a crosswalk with her mother.
The hit-and-run crash that badly injured the child happened in the Bailey’s Crossroads section of Falls Church, VA. At around 10 pm on the 24th, a person behind the wheel of a newer model Mercedes never stopped after striking the mother and daughter on Columbia Pike near Tyler Street. Police are asking anyone who knows the identity of the driver who fled the scene to call them at (703) 280-0543 or to share the information with Crime Solvers.
Two nights later, a hit-and-run driver severely injured a woman who was crossing Hanover Avenue, NW in Roanoke, VA. The scene of this crash is a residential neighborhood just off 17th Street, and the speed limit is 25 mph. Despite the relatively low speed of the collision, the pedestrian was admitted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with 17 fractures, including broken skull bones.
Section 46.2-924 of the Virginia Code requires drivers to yield right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks, when turning and on streets with posted speed limits lower than 35 mph. The drivers who caused these hit-and-run collisions obviously violated that statute. The also committed serious crimes when they fled the scenes of the crashes.
What may be worse from the perspectives of the seriously injured pedestrians and their families, the drivers who refused to stop may leave the victims needing to pay their own medical bills. Identifying the hit-and-run drivers and bringing them into custody will allow the victims to file insurance claims or civil lawsuits against the individuals who should pay the costs of the harm they inflicted.
If the at-fault drivers are not found, the victims should consult with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer who can guide them through the process of filing claims under the uninsured motorist provisions of their own car insurance policies.
Sadly, pedestrians are always at risk for getting hit and hurt by negligent, reckless and distracted drivers. Recognizing this, AAA published these safety reminders for drivers who approach crosswalks:
- Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- When approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and be prepared to stop.
- When you are stopped at a crosswalk, allow enough room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so other drivers can see the pedestrians you have stopped for.
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They have stopped to allow pedestrians to pass or make sure the way is clear.
The organization also shared this more general safety advice:
- Look out for pedestrians at all times.
- Follow posted speed limits at all times.
- Use extra caution in bad weather conditions and poorly lit areas.
- Be mindful of pedestrians when pulling into and out of driveways – especially if you are backing up.