A T-bone crash in which a tractor-trailer speared an SUV has seriously injured one teen and claimed the life of another. The fatal wreck occurred on the afternoon of May 22, 2015, in Elkton, Virginia (VA). According to reports, the two teenagers, students at East Rockingham High School, were attempting to cross Route 33/Spotswood Trail from Mt. Hermon Road.
Virginia State Police did not release details on what they believe caused the deadly crash, and they did not file preliminary charges against the truck driver. Investigators continue looking into whether the semi operator or the young driver behind the wheel of the SUV was at fault for creating the situation that led to the collision.
The intersection is controlled only by stop signs for vehicles using the side street, meaning that the big rig driver could be presumed to have had right of way. If the trucker was speeding, distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, too tired to respond to changing traffic conditions, or acting negligently or recklessly in some other way, the commercial driver could still be cited for committing a moving violation. Such findings would also likely make the trucker liable in civil court for causing the T-bone crash, leaving him and/or his employer responsible for settling personal injury and wrongful death insurance claims and making compensation for damages.
Alternately, the teen driver may have run the stop sign, failed to give the tractor-trailer enough time to clear the intersection or experienced a distraction or impairment of his own. As tragic as that would be for his own parents and the family of his friend, that youngster would be at fault and liable. Determining responsibility and culpability, even when the answer is painful to know, is essential for allowing victims to hold the correct individuals accountable for inflicting harm.
Whatever answers concerning the cause of the deadly tractor-trailer crash emerge, my Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the young student who lost his life.