A 50-year-old James City County, Virginia (VA), died when an SUV ran off the side of U.S. 60/Richmond Road and struck her on the morning of June 26, 2017. The fatal pedestrian crash happened near the intersection with Barnes Road in an unincorporated part of the county north of Williamsburg and south of Lanexa.
Police could not tell reporters why the SUV driver left the roadway and entered the wide grassy shoulder before hitting and killing the woman. No charges had been filed as the following day, but the investigation remained open.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration compiled national U.S. data on crashes involving pedestrian during 2013 and determined that alcohol use and speeding contributed to many wrecks that resulted in injuries in death. NHTSA ended its Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians report with the following reminders for drivers:
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. Pedestrians may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see—especially in poor lit conditions, including dusk/dawn/night and poor weather.
- Always stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk or where pedestrian crosswalk signs are posted.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They may be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
- Slow down and look for pedestrians. Be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit; slow down around pedestrians.
- Stay focused and slow down where children may be present, like school zones and neighborhoods.
When Virginia drivers neglect these duties, pedestrians suffer. During 2015, the last year for which the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has complete data, 78 pedestrians were killed in crashes on Virginia roads and highways. Another 1,718 pedestrians suffered in injuries when hit by vehicles in Virginia during 2015. Out of the nearly 2,000 pedestrian who got hurt or died, 99 were identified by crash investigators as “not in roadway.”
Whatever caused the deadly pedestrian crash on Richmond Road in James City County, the family of the woman who lost her life could benefit from consulting with an experienced and caring Virginia wrongful death attorney. Holding a driver financially accountable for the suffering they inflict by operating negligently or recklessly is important for ensuring justice regardless of whether criminal charges result from a wreck.