We can only imagine the fear felt by the driver of a disabled van struck on the massive Delaware Memorial bridge as a big rig approached from behind at a high rate of speed.  Fortunately, Alex Alexis, 67, from New Jersey, survived the truck crash Tuesday, with serious, but not life threatening injuries.

A tractor-trailer driver from Virginia (VA) has been cited in a crash involving a disabled van on the Delaware Memorial Bridge that blocked the road for more than three hours, according to The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware (DE).  Police say the driver from Rocky Mount, (VA), was cited for careless driving after the Tuesday afternoon truck car accident.  In cases involving disabled cars, the driver of the disabled vehicle does have obligations, however, all motor vehicle laws require drivers to keep a proper lookout themselves and this may require that drivers not rear end a disabled car as well.  Each situation variies.

Authorities say Alexis’ Chevrolet Astro van was west-bound on the bridge to Delaware when it became disabled on the upgrade of the bridge and stopped-apparently with no shoulder.  This truck-van accident highlights the inherent danger of bridges and bridge tunnels:  there is often no shoulder or side road allowing a disabled car driver to pull the SUV, van or car out of harm’s way. In our Hampton Roads area, surrounded by rivers and bays, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel,  Hampton Roads bridge tunnels, and both the Downtown and Midtown tunnels connecting Norfolk to Portsmouth, VA come to mind.  Many serious and fatal VA car and car-truck bridge and tunnel accidents arise from either a disabled car or truck, or from any first “minor” accident that cause a second chain reaction accident due to unavailable shoulders in nearly all areas of bridges and tunnels.  Police say then a flat-bed tractor trailer rear ended the van.  Alexis was taken to a hospital for surgery for serious injuries, but apparently the injuries were not life threatening. 

The westbound Delaware Memorial Bridge span was closed for two hours until the accident wreckage was removed. The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control was on the scene because of a fuel spill.  Some drivers are gripped with fear when travelling over any bridge tunnel, and here is a video simply showing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel, VA, in real time.

Our injury law firm recently reported on how careless driving or inattention by the operator is one of the main cases of truck crashes.   Across the Virginia border, we have also highlighted how the police in North Carolina (NC) are becoming fed up with careless truck drivers in the state that has the sixth highest rate of truck accidents in the country.  Many car drivers are unaware that drivers of commercial vehicles have to adhere to a number of federal rules and regulations in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license. See the Virginia Commercial Driver’s manual on our website.