A diesel tanker truck operator survived a fiery head-on collision in Sussex County, Virginia (VA), on September 22, 2014, but also sustained serious injuries and burns. According to reports, the crash was caused by a man whose car was traveling in the wrong lane of Route 40 near the intersection with Route 626. The rural state highways are also known as Sussex Drive and Court House Road, respectively.



The wrong-way driver lost his life in the accident. Police did not immediately state why he was headed west in the eastbound lane of Route 40. Possible explanations include a medical emergency, falling asleep at the wheel, being impaired by drugs or alcohol, being too distracted to stay on the correct side of the road, or attempting an unsafe pass.

As a Virginia personal injury attorney who has spent more than 25 years helping victims of traffic accidents, I know that no explanation passes for an excuse. Even if the at-fault driver had a health problem, he should not have taken the wheel if he was not physically and mentally fit to control his car. I do not write that to attack anyone, just to highlight the fact that all people must take every reasonable precautions to avoid a wreck 

The collision southeast of Petersburg resulted in one person getting killed and another sustaining injuries and burns that hospitalized him. Preventing those kinds of consequences is worth making the effort to remain alert while driving, to pass and change lanes cautiously, and to let another person take the wheel when doing so improves safety.