A wrong-way driver caused a four-vehicle wreck in Chesterfield County, Virginia (VA), on the morning of April 16, 2017. The crash on Powhite Parkway near the interchange with Midlothian Turnpike sent the at-fault driver and two other people to hospitals with injuries.
Police did not know why the at-fault driver was going south in the northbound lanes of the parkway on Easter morning. Federal studies of such wrecks have revealed that the large majority of wrong-way crashes happen when an intoxicated or elderly driver becomes confused at night and uses a highway exit ramp as an on ramp. Researcher have also found that 42 percent of wrong-way crashes on highway straightaways result in deaths or incapacitating injuries, which is a much higher rate than other types of collisions at speeds above 45 mph.
Very few of the typical causes of wrong-way crashes appear to apply to this multivehicle collision outside of Richmond, and, thankfully, no one suffered life-threatening injuries. Still, law enforcement officials charged the man at fault with reckless driving.
Section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code make it illegal to drive “a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Heading into oncoming traffic on a four-lane divided highway meets that legal definition for reckless driving.
News reports on the Chesterfield County wrong-way crash also revealed that the at-fault driver was cited for operating with a suspended license for the eleventh time. Since he has does not have a fully valid driver’s license, he may not have adequate, or any, insurance. The people he hit and injured may have difficulty holding him accountable for settling claims for property damage and personal injuries.
Consulting with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer will help the people harmed by the reckless wrong-way driver explore their options to use underinsured and uninsured provisions of their own auto insurance policies to cover their losses and bills. Filing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault may also be an option.