Two women ended up hospitalized with serious injuries after one of them drove the wrong way on the interstate through Louisa County, Virginia (VA), on the night of September 21, 2017. Troopers with the Virginia State Police could not immediately determine why the at-fault driver ended up on the wrong side of the highway.
A call regarding the wrong-way driver was logged at 10:08 pm, and a trooper was directed to pursue. Before law enforcement could intervene, the driver going the wrong way collided with another vehicle near mile marker 159, which is close to the exit to the town of Gum Springs via U.S. 522/Cross County Road. One of the women needed to be airlifted to a medical center for life-saving treatment, but it is unclear which.
Traffic engineers and government officials devote significant efforts to understanding and preventing wrong-way crashes like this one in Louisa County. For instance, interstate exit ramps are banked in ways to make them difficult to use as entrance ramps. Still, too many drivers still manage to get onto interstates and head into oncoming traffic, and the results are often tragic.
When the National Transportation Safety Administration conducted an analysis of national data on wrong-way crashes, the agency concluded that the leading safety issues that need to be addressed are
- Driver impairment from alcohol use;
- Confusion and poor vision affecting older drivers;
- Confusion associated with drug use;
- Inadequate, obscured and/or ineffective traffic control devices, including signs, pavement markers and physical barriers;
- Inadequate driver training and traffic enforcement; and
- Underuse of in-vehicle driver support systems.
No one can know from publicly available information if any of those reasons contributed to causing the head-on collision on I-64 in Louisa County. It is clear, however, that the wrong-way driver violated Virginia statutes and could potentially be held accountable for paying compensation and damages for inflicting personal injuries on the other woman.
Working with a dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyer would help the innocent victim of this wrong-way crash close to Gum Springs stay full up to date with investigators’ findings. Enlisting the help of a plaintiff’s attorney would also give the injured victim an ally when dealing with insurance company representatives. Last, should the insurance company’s settlement offer prove too low to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, the victim’s personal injury lawyer will know what needs to be done to pursue a lawsuit.