Williamsburg Man Hit and Killed While Crossing Street in Newport News | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Stephen Shonka of Williamsburg, Virginia (VA) was crossing J. Clyde Morris Boulevard in Newport News, VA when he was hit and killed by a 2004 Acura. Mr. Shonka was only 34 years old.

We do not know exactly what caused this pedestrian crossing accident death. Police suspect Mr. Shonka’s blood alcohol content was a “contributing factor,” according to The Viriginian-Pilot. However, we should not jump to conclusions.

If it is determined the driver of the Acura was intoxicated or distracted and Mr. Shonka was walking in a properly designated crosswalk, then Mr. Shonka should not be deemed responsible, even if he was drinking that night.

This is important because Virginia still abides by an archaic law known as “contributory negligence.” Essentially, this law states that if an injured person contributed even 1 percent to their accident, they are entitled to nothing in terms of a personal injury claim.

We will have to wait and see what the accident report reveals before determining who is held liable for this terrible crosswalk death.