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Turning Driver Kills Motorcycle Rider in Virginia Beach

A tragic loss of life in Virginia Beach, VA, started as hit-and-collision. According to police, the driver of a pickup truck cut off a motorcycle rider while making a left hand turn on Ferrell Parkway. Rather than stopping after the motorcyclist rammed into the left rear quarter panel, the pickup driver continued driving toward the interstate and was nowhere to be found when emergency responders responded to the scene of the crash a little before 11 pm on May 28, 2021.

The impact ejected the motorcyclist from his bike, and he died from his injuries before being transported to a hospital. Authorities later identified the deceased victim as 40-year-old Philip Michael Pereira of New Bedford, Massachusetts (MA).

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Six days after the fatal crash, police arrested a person in Binghamton, New York (NY), who they believe was behind the pickup involved in the hit-and-run collision on Virginia Beach’s Ferrell Parkway. That arrest was made within hours of when the motorcycle rider’s family held a vigil and informed reporters that they were haunted by questions such as “What if the driver that hit him stayed on the scene? What if the call for help had gone out sooner?”

Turning Drivers Must Yield Right of Way

As spelled out in section 46.2-285 of the Virginia Code,

The driver of a vehicle, intending to turn left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction if it is so close as to constitute a hazard. At intersections controlled by traffic lights with separate left-turn signals, any vehicle making a left turn when so indicated by the signal shall have the right-of-way over all other vehicles approaching the intersection.

All states have similar laws, but drivers frequently violate motorcycle riders’ right of way. Spotting two-wheeled vehicles can be difficult. Judging the speed of motorcycle also challenges many people. But the simple truth is that a lot drivers simply fail to look out for anything that is not another car or truck.

Police continue to investigate the crash on Ferrell Parkway, but it no longer appears to be a hit-and-run. If the person in custody is the at-fault driver, then learning which negligent or reckless act set the stage for the collision. Discovering that answer will make it easier for the grieving family to hold the driver accountable by filing wrongful death claims.

Regardless of what investigators determine, our hearts go out to the friends and family of the motorcycle rider. We also urge every driver to take extra care to watch for and yield to motorcyclists.

EJL

Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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