Hit-and-Run Semi Kills Man on I-81 Shoulder Near Raphine, VA | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A hit-and-run collision involving a tractor-trailer left a man dead in Rockbridge County, Virginia (VA), in the early morning hours of August 4, 2017. The fatal pedestrian crash happened near mile marker 205 on northbound I-81, which is close to the exit for State Route 606 and the town of Raphine.



A Virginia State Police trooper discovered the accident scene at 1:27 am. Evidence indicates that the man who lost his life had pulled onto the shoulder and gotten out of the driver’s seat of his car moments before the big rig struck him and drove off. He appears to have died on impact.

A passenger in the car could not provide a detailed description of the at-fault semi. Virginia State Police believe it is Freightliner with damage to the its passenger-side headlight and a missing bumper. Anyone who witnessed the incident or spots a tractor-trailer cab with the type of damage described is being encouraged to share their information by calling (800) 542-5959 or texting #77.

State Police want to track down the hit-and-run truck driver because he or she committed a serious crime. Identifying the at-fault driver would also make it easier for the family of the deceased victim to file and collect on wrongful death insurance claims. The truck driver who took the man’s life so carelessly should be held financially accountable. Seeking compensation and damages through uninsured motorist provisions of the victim’s own auto insurance police would not deliver justice.

Sadly, pedestrian deaths on interstates are common, with hit and runs being a particular problem. When the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety investigated these issues, it found the following:


  • Nearly 10 percent of all the nation’s pedestrian fatalities occur on Interstate highways, even though the Interstate system comprises only about one percent of the nation’s total road mileage.
  • Nearly one-third of the crashes from the sample involved “unintended pedestrians”: people pushing or working on a vehicle, involved in a previous crash, or walking on the shoulder, all situations in which the average motorist could be involved.
  • One out of five drivers involved in an interstate pedestrian fatality leaves the scene of the crash. In cases in which the pedestrian was struck on the shoulder of the Interstate, inattentive, impaired, or drowsy driving was often a factor. About 17 percent of the drivers involved were truck drivers.

My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues send our heartfelt condolences out to the friends and family of the pedestrian killed so casually and needlessly on I-81 through Rockbridge County.