A three-vehicle crash on the James River Bridge south into Newport News, Virginia (VA), left a car's driver dead and the man behind the wheel of a pickup truck charged with reckless driving. The fatal rear-end collision occurred shortly after 4 pm on August 31, 2016.
Virginia State Police investigators determined that the pickup truck driver caused the deadly wreck by running into the back of Crown Victoria. That impact ignited a fire that engulfed the car and pushed it into a third vehicle. The man in the Crown Victoria, identified as 59-year-old Troy Mead Massey of Portsmouth, died at the scene before emergency responders arrived. News reports do not indicate whether anyone in the third vehicle suffered injuries.
"Reckless driving" can mean many things. State statutes define the offense as showing "disregard of possible consequences and indifference to others' rights." This can be exceeding a posted speed limit by more than 20 mph, causing a crash while using a smartphone, driving distracted for any reason and inflicting injuries and deaths, failing to slow down when approaching stopped traffic or making an unsafe lane change or weaving in and out of traffic. It is unclear at this time exactly what the driver at fault for the deadly crash on the James River Bridge did wrong, but the tragic consequences of his irresponsible actions are all too obvious.
My Virginia wrongful death law firm colleagues and I hope that people learning of the fatal reckless driving crash in Newport News take the news as a reminder to obey speed limits, keep their eyes and minds on the road, and take appropriate actions when they spot changes in road and traffic conditions. Saving lives and preventing injuries requires driving attentively and respectfully.