Driving under the influence of alcohol appears to be the ultimate cause of a fatal accident involving a Nissan Altima and a tractor-trailer near Emporia, Virginia (VA). The fatal wreck occurred shortly after 1 am on June 21, 2014, at the intersection of Virginia State Routes 301 and 629 in the small town of Skippers.
Two young female passengers in the car lost their lives from injuries they suffered when the smaller vehicle ran through a stop sign and went underneath the semi. Four other people in the car, including the 21-year-old driver, required hospital treatment for life-threatening injuries. Charges related to the crash are pending.
The deadly wreck illustrates the double dangers of DUI/DWI and distraction. Being impaired by drugs or alcohol makes paying attention to stop signals difficult, and ignoring red lights or stop signs too often leads to crashes that kill and maim. As a Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney who sees the tragic results of both kinds of recklessness and negligence too often, I cannot help but feel saddened to see each come together in rural south-central Virginia.
The likelihood that the individuals injured and killed knew the at-fault driver well just adds to the sense of tragedy. If there can be a good outcome from an avoidable automobile accident such as this, I can only hope that it will deliver the strongest possible lessons about never getting behind the wheel while drunk or stoned and always concentrating on driving safely.