A rear-end collision in a VDOT work zone on I-64 through Newport News, Virginia (VA), escalated into a multivehicle wreck that ended with the death of a tractor-trailer driver who drove into the crash scene shortly after the initial incident. The fatal wreck occurred near the Lee Hall exit toward Fort Eustis Boulevard just before 4 am on November 5, 2015.
According to reports in the Daily Press, a semi driver who did not suffer injuries started the deadly chain of events by slamming into the back of a pickup truck rigged with warning lights and parked in the right-hand lane to provide protection to road crew members who were clearing construction cones. That impact sent the pickup into another construction vehicle that then spun into the left lane of the interstate. While attempting to avoid a crash with the construction vehicle, the tractor-trailer operator who lost his life ran off the road and into a stand of trees on the median. His big rig rolled over, trapping and killing him.
The man behind the wheel of the semi that rear-ended the pickup--designated a "crash truck" by the road crew--has been charged with reckless driving and may face other criminal consequences.
Interstate work zones are dangerous for workers and drivers. As this tragedy illustrates, even individuals who do not speed through the areas and do not ignore barriers, signs and lights can lose their lives as result of others' negligent and reckless behaviors. While no one could precisely predict the series of events that led to the tractor-trailer driver's death in Newport News, everyone can recognize that nothing good would happen when another trucker failed to slow down and change lanes while approaching the road crew.