A late-night rear-end collision in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), on April 24, 2016, left a first-year medical school student dead, several other people badly injured and the at-fault driver facing multiple criminal charges that include driving under the influence. The fatal accident occurred at a stoplight at the intersection of E. Princess Anne Road and Sewells Point Road right around midnight.
Multiple news report identified the deceased victim as 23-year-old Nancy Kelly. She was studying at EVMS after graduating from Virginia Wesleyan College. As a passenger in the minivan that was struck from behind by the SUV that failed to stop when approaching a red light, she sustained critical injuries when her vehicle was pushed forwarded into another car. Kelly succumbed to her injuries at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital mere hours after the crash.
At least two other occupants of the minivan required hospital treatment for injuries, as did the man behind the wheel of the SUV. He refused alcohol and drug tests, but police arrested and charged him with DUI based on other evidence. Chemical proof of intoxication can be helpful for securing a drunk driving conviction, but it is not necessary.
My Norfolk, VA, personal injury and wrongful death law firm colleagues and I have helped numerous clients victimized in rear-end collisions caused by drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs. We know that a combination like intoxication and late-night hours can make drivers reckless, fatigued and easily distracted--often all at once. Such a mix of factors sets the stage for ignoring red lights and failing to recognize changes in traffic flows, hazards and the need to make quick adjustments.
Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the promising med school student who lost her life needlessly to a person who appears to have made the terrible decision to pick up his car keys after becoming intoxicated.