Two people are dead and two are injured after a chain-reaction accident on I-64 in Albemarle County, Virginia. According to NBC29.com, The accident occurred around 11 a.m. on August 6 near mile marker 128 and closed the westbound lanes for four hours.
Traffic on westbound I-64 had slowed due to an earlier accident, but the driver of a tractor-trailer did not see the slowdown and rear-ended a Nissan Pathfinder. The impact pushed the Nissan into a Lincoln Town Car. One of the vehicles struck a Chevy Suburban, which ran off the left side of the road and rolled over. As the Chevy careened across lanes it hit a second tractor-trailer. The Lincoln was hit again, this time by the first tractor-trailer, and the impact set the car on fire.
The tractor-trailer driver’s apparent failure to notice slowed traffic ended in a grim scene. The Nissan’s driver, 24-year-old Kelsey Lesslick, sustained serious injuries and was transported to UVA Medical Center. The Lincoln’s driver, 70-year-old Vicki Shields, died at the scene. The Suburban’s driver was not injured. His wife was sitting in the front passenger seat and sustained minor injuries. The back-seat passenger, 59-year-old Paul Brant, was ejected from the Chevy and succumbed to his injuries at UVA Medical Hospital. The second tractor-trailer driver’s status is unknown.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured. Police say he has been charged with reckless driving and may face additional charges as the investigation progresses.
A tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds without a special permit. When a vehicle is rear-ended by a tractor-trailer at high speed, it is essentially being rear-ended by an 80,000 pound battering ram. Even a heavy-duty SUV doesn’t stand a chance against a big rig.
Our firm has years of experience successfully setting and litigating for victims of tractor-trailer and big rig crashes. For example, we helped one family obtain a $2.4 million settlement against a tractor-trailer driver who rear-ended their loved one’s car, nearly instantly killing him. While every case is different, we understand that life after a tractor-trailer accident is never the same for the victim or his or her family.
For more information about what to do if you or a loved one is seriously injured in an accident with a tractor- trailer, big rig, or 18-wheeler, read our legal team’s in-depth guide or check out our answers to frequently asked questions about truck accidents.