A crash in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (VA), on the afternoon of October 27, 2017, left one woman dead and four people hospitalized. The deadly collision happened near the intersection of U.S. 29 and Carter Lodge Road in the community of Blairs.
Virginia State Police received the call about the collision at 3:44 pm. According to the website GoDanRiver.com, troopers found a minivan on its side and an SUV sitting on top of the van. A loaded boat trailer being towed by the SUV had slammed through the rear window of that vehicle.
Crash investigators determined that the woman driving the minivan had pulled out of a parking lot into the path of the SUV. She died at the scene. Four other people survived with serious injuries, and one of them had to be transported to Roanoke for intensive treatment.
Parking lot pull out crashes are common even though state law makes failing to yield right of way to vehicles already in the roadway a reckless driving offense. Specifically, section 46.2-864 states,
A person is guilty of reckless driving who operates any motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person: 1. On any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business or governmental property open to the public; or 2. On the premises of any industrial establishment providing parking space for customers, patrons, or employees.
The Virginia driving manual also emphasizes the need for drivers to wait until the way is clear before exiting a parking lot. In a list of safe driving practices, the Department of Motor Vehicles includes this: “You must always stop your vehicle when entering a street or crossing over a sidewalk from a driveway, alley, building or parking lot.”
While the deceased driver who caused the crash on U.S, 29 in Blairs cannot be charged with reckless driving or any other traffic violation, her actions could make her estate responsible for paying compensation and damages to the other driver and passengers who survived the wreck. The insurance policy of a driver who dies in a collision he or she caused remains in effect until all legitimate claims are settled or otherwise resolved.
Insurance companies often throw up barriers to victims of wrecks caused by deceased policyholders, though. Working with a knowledgeable and dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyer will help the people injured in this parking lot pull out crash clear the legal hurdles to getting their medical bills paid and lost wages replaced.