A wreck in Suffolk, Virginia (VA), that originally looked to police like a single-vehicle crash turned into a hit-and-run investigation thanks to information supplied by witnesses. The crash happened in the 1400 block of Holland Road/U.S. Route 58 Business on the afternoon of September 26, 2017, and an innocent woman lost her life.
Suffolk police received the call about the collision at 3:21 pm. They found 46-year-old Hope Tara Parham fatally injured, and she was declared dead at the scene.
Witness accounts allowed investigators to identify a second vehicle involved in the crash whose driver had fled. News reports do not include details regarding whether the two vehicles made contact or if the driver who left without waiting for police and emergency medical technicians ran the victim’s car off the road. Seeking as many facts as possible, law enforcement officials are still asking anyone who can answer questions about the deadly wreck on Holland Road to call them at (757) 925-2030.
In the area of the fatal hit-and-run collision, Holland Road is divided into three lanes, one each for eastbound and westbound traffic with a center turn lane set off with single solid yellow lines and broken yellow lines. If the driver who fled the scene crossed into the deceased woman’s lane, he or she could be charged with driving left of center and, possibly, reckless driving.
The more-serious charge, of course, could be for felony hit-and-run. Under section 46.2-894 of the Virginia Code, each driver involved in a crash has the following legal duties:
- Immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible;
- Report his [or her] name, address, driver's license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency; and
- Render reasonable assistance to any person injured in such accident, including taking such injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital.
Drivers also need to share their personal and insurance information with anyone else involved, provided the other people are not so injured that they cannot understand the information.
My Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I know from firsthand experience that few things leave victims feeling more victimized and hopeless than hit-and-run collisions. Holding the at-fault driver seems impossible. With the Suffolk Police having a detailed description of the vehicle that fled after the wreck on Holland Road, however, seeking wrongful death compensation and damages from the person who should pay them seems very likely. Partnering with a plaintiff’s attorney who has an office in Suffolk will help the family of the woman who lost her life understand and exercise their legal options.