A young man died and his mother suffered serious injuries when a speeding SUV rear-ended their car on the interstate. The fatal crash happened in Hampton, Virginia (VA), on the evening of June 11, 2022.
Virginia State Police responded to the crash scene on eastbound I-64. Their preliminary investigation determined that the driver of a Ford Fusion had slowed to a stop when she encountered a traffic jam. Then, just west of the ramps to North King Street, a Mercedes traveling at “a high rate of speed” slammed into the back of the car.
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The force of the collision knocked the car out of its lane. The woman behind the wheel of the Ford Fusion went to Riverside Regional Hospital for treatment. Her son, publicly identified as 25-year-old Corey Jacob Sargent, died at the scene.
State police confirmed that the SUV driver suffered no injuries. They also said that the man would likely face charges.
Speeding Makes Stopping Difficult or Impossible
An analysis published in the National Law Review lists these four common scenarios for rear-end collisions:
- A driver slams into another car on the highway that is slowing down for upcoming traffic;
- A driver fails to notice that another car has its turn signal on and crashes into the car as it slows down to turn;
- A driver plans on speeding through a changing traffic signal and does not anticipate that the car ahead of them will stop; or
- A driver assumes the car in front of them will start to drive as soon as the light turns green and accelerates into the back of the vehicle.
Clearly, the deadly crash on I-64 through Hampton provides a tragic real-world illustration of the first scenario. Situations in which following drivers fail to reduce their own speed occur so frequently that Virginia state includes a “Table of Speed and Stopping Distances.” Lawmakers advise courts to consult the table when determining fault for a rear-end collision.
As shown in section 46.2 of the Virginia Code, a passenger vehicle going 60 miles per hour needs 171 feet to stop. At just 5 mph faster, the same vehicle needs 201feet to stop.
We cannot know from news report the speed at which the SUV hit the car. We do know from the deadly results, however, that the person operating the SUV drove too fast to stop in time to spare a life. My Virginia Beach wrongful death law firm colleagues and I hope people who learn of this crash in Hampton take the lesson to lower their speed to match traffic conditions.