A three-vehicle wreck in Virginia Beach, VA, left one person dead and a driver facing a reckless driving charge. The deadly crash happened at the intersection of Lynnhaven Parkway and Gravehurst Drive on the morning of August 17, 2017.
Police received the first call about the collision at 6:54 am. An investigation by the Fatal Accident Crash Team revealed that a driver traveling north on Lynnhaven set off the chain reaction by slamming into a vehicle that was turning left from Gravehurst. The at-fault driver’s car sheared off from the initial impact and ran into another car that was stopped in a left-turn lane on Lynnhaven.
The 20-year-old man behind the wheel of the vehicle exiting Gravehurst died. The at-fault driver who T-boned him suffered injuries that required hospital treatment. It is not stated in news reports whether anyone in the third vehicle got hurt.
Investigators also found evidence that the at-fault driver was exceeding the 45 mph speed limit and charged him with reckless driving. While the general reckless driving statute under the Virginia Code applies to anyone operating “in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person,” the more specific statutory language of section 46.2-862 states
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
Lynnhaven Parkway features long straight stretches, so the temptation to exceed the 45 mph speed limit can be strong. Going too fast, however, poses risks to drivers, pedestrians and bike riders coming out of the many neighborhoods that line the parkway. This is especially true at Gravehurst, where a person who wishes to get onto the southbound side of Lynnhaven must cross two lanes of northbound traffic at an intersection where there are no stoplights. A vehicle approaching at 65 mph or faster would not necessarily appear to be speeding, so a person exiting one of the neighborhood side streets could face an unrecognizable risk.
My Virginia Beach-based wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our condolences out to the friends and family members of the young man who lost his life. We urge all drivers here and elsewhere to obey speed limits.