A traffic crash involving an SUV and a motorcycle in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), on the night of September 27, 2017, left the motorcycle rider dead and police asking questions about how exactly the deadly wreck happened.
The fatal collision happened at the intersection of N. Military Highway and Longdale Drive at around 8:20 pm. The driver of the SUV was reportedly attempting to turn left from the northbound lanes when she “went into oncoming traffic.” The 6600 block of Military Highway where this wreck occurred is divided into five lanes, with the center lane reserved for left turns. The only details publicly available lead to speculation that the SUV driver either stopped with part of her vehicle sitting over the lane line and in the path of approaching vehicles or stopped short of the entrance to Longdale and drove a short distance in a southbound lane in order to reach the side street.
Either situation would make the woman behind the wheel of the SUV responsible for inflicting deadly injuries on the motorcycle rider, who has been identified only as a 58-year-old man who succumbed to his injuries at the scene. No charges were immediately issued against the SUV driver, but Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney is considering evidence.
Deadly collisions between motorcycles and larger vehicles making left-hand turns usually result from the driver’s failure to yield right of way. A nearly fatal crash at Granby Street and Brackenridge Avenue during morning rush hour on September 25, 2017, followed that script. This more-recent wreck at Military Highway and Longdale appears to involve either improper positioning before turning left or misuse of a center turn lane. Driving the wrong way could also have played a role, though crash scene investigators ruled out both alcohol or drug use by wither person and speeding by the motorcycle rider.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I learn of a new crash that killed or permanently disabled a motorcyclist practically every day. Many are caused by car, truck, SUV and van drivers who claim not to have seen the motorcycle riders while changing lanes, turning or merging onto a highway. That can never stand as an excuse, especially since checking for and yielding to oncoming vehicles are primary duties for every driver. In addition to saving lives and sparing others from injuries, drivers who exercise all the necessary cautions before starting to turn left will spare themselves significant legal and financial difficulties.