Three pedestrians went to the hospital with injuries after a vehicle struck them near Downtown Norfolk, Virginia (VA). The crash happened at Church Street and E. Olney Road just before 5 pm on February 18, 2018.
The cause of the collision is unknown, and the victims have only been publicly identified as a woman and two children. They were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and are expected to survive. No information on the types of injuries they sustained were reported.
As the investigation continues, Norfolk Police have issued a preliminary charge for failing to yield right of way to pedestrians against the driver. Under section 46.2-924 of the Virginia Code, all drivers must stop for pedestrians
- At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;
- At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;
- At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.
The statute also makes it clear that drivers must yield for pedestrians when turning, entering or exiting parking lots or alleys, and merging onto highways.
Any of the three numbered scenarios could have existed at the time of this collision in the Calvert Square neighborhood of Norfolk. Crosswalks run across Church Street. Drivers have stop signs on E. Olney Road, and the speed limits do not exceed 35 mph on either road.
When drivers do not stop for pedestrians, injuries nearly always result. During 2015, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 1,718 injuries to pedestrians from 1,624 crashes. Pointing to driver errors in a large number of those crashes, the two most-common situations reported were pedestrians crossing at intersections that were controlled by traffic signals and pedestrians crossing at intersections that lacked signals.
As Virginia personal injury lawyers who have helped many Norfolk pedestrians who got injured by distracted, speeding and negligent drivers, my law firm colleagues and I know that people in crosswalks and on sidewalks depend on drivers paying attention and acting responsibly to stay safe. Taking one’s eyes off the road, giving into impatience or failing to look both ways at an intersection can cause a collision that leaves a pedestrian seriously, potentially disabled, or, too often, dead.