Drivers in Warren County, VA narrowly avoided potential catastrophe early Friday when a car struck a tanker truck loaded with 8,000 gallons of fuel near mile marker 11. The truck overturned, but luckily the tanker did not rupture.
Virginia State Police say a woman driving a Toyota Corolla west on I-66 lost control of the vehicle. The car careened across the roadway and crashed into the fuel tanker truck, also traveling westbound. The impact caused the tanker to run off the interstate and overturn.
The truck driver, 61-year-old Warren E. Wood, died at the scene. The 23-year-old woman driving the Corolla was uninjured. While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, the woman has been charged with reckless driving.
The Virginia Department of Transportation set up a detour while authorities emptied the 8,000 gallons of fuel so the truck could be removed from the scene. The road reopened Friday afternoon.
When a driver loses control of her vehicle, that vehicle essentially turns into a two-ton battering ram. Considering this tanker truck contained thousands of gallons of fuel, the accident could have led to a full-blown hazardous material disaster. While the county avoided disaster, Mr. Wood’s family did not. I am sure his loved ones are grappling with how to move forward despite their grief, and I am sincerely sorry for their loss.
A family member who has lost a loved one in a traffic accident caused by another person, as this family has, may wish to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. They not only face funeral and burial expenses but also a lifetime of lost companionship and support. For more information, see this guide to Virginia wrongful death claims or consult an experienced wrongful death attorney.