A fatal crash in Rockbridge County, Virginia (VA), is being blamed on a young driver's decision to make an unsafe left turn from U.S. 501 onto VA 130. The deadly wreck just east of the town of Glasgow occurred on April 19, 2015, and also sent three teenagers and two adults to hospitals with serious injuries. The deceased victim also initially survived the collision but succumbed to his injuries two days later. All of the teens riding in the car attended the local high school.
According to police reports cited by the News-Gazette newspaper, the person behind the wheel of the car failed to yield right of way to the pickup. Charges were filed shortly after that determination was made, but it remains unclear if the teen who lost his life was also the at-fault driver. Also unclear is whether all of the injured people will make full recoveries or be left with disabilities. Several remained hospitalized half a week after the crash.
While this tragic incident could be used to illustrate possible mistakes by young, inexperienced drivers, the greater lesson to take from the fatal crash is that people of all ages must exercise extreme caution when making left-hand turns. Especially when turning from a rural highway at an intersection that is not controlled by stop signs or traffic lights, drivers must wait until they are absolutely sure that no cars or trucks are oncoming. The slightest miscalculation of another vehicle's speed or distance can set the stage for a wreck that leaves people disabled or dead.
My Virginia personal injury and wrongful death law firm colleagues and I see the terrible consequences of negligent and reckless left turns far too frequently. We urge everyone reading this to recognize that saving a few seconds--or even minutes--by trying to beat other cars, trucks and motorcycles through an intersection is not worth risking their own and others' lives.