One man died and two other drivers suffered injuries in a chain-reaction crash on Route 17 in Gloucester County, Virginia (VA), on the afternoon of March 7, 2015. The deadly collision in the town of Hayes began when a pickup truck rear-ended a car identified as a Toyota Corolla near the intersection of Quinns Drive and the state route known locally as George Washington Memorial Highway. The initial collision caused the smaller vehicle to cross the center line and sideswipe a Honda Civic. The pickup operator got ejected from his vehicle and died from his injuries at scene. The people behind the wheels of the cars survived with injuries requiring hospital treatment.
News reports did not indicate which driver held responsibility for causing the fatal accident. Virginia State Police investigator must determine whether the deadly incident resulted from following too closely, speeding, stopping or attempting a turn without signaling, impairment by drugs or alcohol, or driver distraction. A combination of negligent and reckless actions by the drivers involved in the wreck could also explain why the vehicles collided.
The one lesson that can be clearly drawn from the incident is that drivers must remain cautious and alert at all times, even on rural highways. As dangerous as using interstates and crowded city streets can be, two- and four-lane state highways present just as many risks for traffic accidents can leave people injured or dead. Taking one's eyes and mind off the road to read a text or make a phone call, travelling too fast for road conditions, or getting behind the wheel while drunk or high never become any safer simply because fewer cars and trucks are around.