According to Virginia State Police, one of the drivers was going the wrong way in the HOV lanes. At that time, the traffic in those lanes was southbound, and the driver was going north. Another driver also was hit in the crash, although he suffered only minor injuries.
One of the drivers died at the scene, and the other at a local hospital in Fairfax VA.
Police continue to investigate how the driver could have gotten onto the I-395 HOV lanes if the gates were down.
In our personal injury legal practice in Virginia, we have seen a number of wrong-way car accident tragedies in recent year. In North Carolina, another of our coverage areas, there have been a shocking 4000 people killed in wrong way accidents in the last 10 years.
We learned recently that a simple, $300 sign, which is a lower mounted version of Do Not Enter and Wrong Way signs, which are more visible at night, could prevent many of these accidents. Research shows that the majority of wrong way crashes occur at night when visibility is reduced. Other research suggests that better markings on pavement could prevent many wrong way accidents.
In any case, the above accident has left both families without a loved one, and we hope that such a tragic event does not ever happen again. The family of the victim who was hit by the wrong way driver would benefit from consulting with a personal injury attorney to determine what financial compensation they may be entitled to. We send our deep condolences to the families of both men.