A head-on collision in the Hillsboro area of Loudoun County, Virginia (VA), killed one woman and sent another person to the hospital with injuries. The crash happened at around 12:30 pm on November 14, 2017.
Sheriff’s deputies told reporters that the female driver of a Honda Civic caused the wreck after running off the right side of Charles Town Pike near the junction with VA 691/Harper’s Ferry Road. They did not have an explanation for why initially she lost control of her vehicle, but evidence showed that she overcorrected her steering while trying to reenter the highway and crossed into the path of an oncoming pickup truck.
The woman died at the scene of the crash. Authorities did not identify the injured pickup driver but said that the person was transported to the Landsdowne Campus of Inova Loudoun Hospital with serious injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Researchers call incidents like this one in Northern Virginia “roadway departure crashes.” In a 2013 overview, the Federal Highway Administration noted that “each year roadway departure crashes account for more than half of United States highway fatalities.” The most common results from running off the road, according to the agency, are overturning, ending up in the opposing lane, and crashing into trees or shrubs.
FHWA researchers also noted that the leading causes of roadway departures are speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving. We cannot know from publicly released information if any of those negligent or reckless acts led to the head-on collision on Charles Town Pike in Loudon County.
What my Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I can do is share the following safe driving advice for anyone who runs off the side of the road. Quoting from Florida driver’s manual,
- Stay calm!
- Hold the wheel firmly.
- Take your foot off the gas and do not slam on the brakes.
- Steer the car where desired.
- If necessary, steer the car to a safe place and stop.
The surviving victim of the Honda driver’s overcorrection after her roadway departure in Loudoun County should have strong grounds for filing personal injury claims. Even though the at-fault driver sadly lost her life, her auto insurance policy will remain in effect until all legal matters related to the crash are resolved. Working with a dedicated and knowledgeable Virginia personal injury lawyer will help the pickup driver clear away any obstacles the insurance company throws up.