A crash between a Honda Accord and a Jeep in James City County, Virginia (VA), left a woman dead and a man hospitalized with serious injuries. The collision happened shortly before 2 pm on August 28, 2021.
Police who responded to the wreck on Rochambeau Drive east of Patriot Lane determined that the Jeep ran into the passenger side of the Accord after the driver of the smaller vehicle attempted to make a U-turn in the middle of the road. The impact claimed the life of the car’s passenger at the scene, and the driver of the Accord end up in the hospital.
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The person behind the wheel of the Jeep escaped injury. Police indicated they do not intend to file any charges in relation to the crash.
Virginia Allows U-Turns Only at Certain Intersections
The lack of charges does not mean neither driver made a preventable error or acted negligently. State law in Virginia prohibits U-turns at any locations other than intersections. And even then, drivers should check for No U-Turn signs, which are common in areas of high traffic.
Reports also indicate that the person driving the Accord turned across a double yellow line. That pavement marking primarily indicates no passing. A double yellow line also limits a driver to making lefts turns into side streets, driveways or parking lots. A U-turn across a double yellow line is not a legal maneuver. In all instances, a turning driver must wait until they have time and space to complete their tur safely.
Should a relative of the passenger who lost her life in this James City County crash file a wrongful death insurance claim, they could cite evidence of the illegal U-turn as proof that the at-fault driver acted negligently. It will not matter that police officers did not file a charge or secure a prosecution. The official determination that the driver’s actions were not in line with one or more applicable traffic laws would suffice to establish fault and negligence.
It should also be noted that a passenger who suffers injuries or gets killed in a car crash can have a claim against the driver of the car in which they were riding. A driver’s insurance policy covers everyone in the driver’s vehicle. Consulting with a caring and experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney will clarify the legal options and potentially provide an ally who can take on much of the burden of dealing with claims adjusters.