Two people died and a third sustained serious injuries when a pickup truck going the wrong way on U.S. 58 in Suffolk, Virginia (VA), crashed into a tractor-trailer at around 1 am on November 14, 2014. The fatal head-on collision occurred near the intersection with Godwin Boulevard in a northwestern section of the city's core business district where U.S. 13, U.S. 58 and U.S. 460 all run together.
The driver of the pickup and his passenger were declared dead at the scene of the wreck, and the commercial trucker was transported to Sentara Obici Hospital. The semi operator is expected to survive.
Police do not know why the at-fault driver was traveling in the wrong direction. The highway is divided by a median, so he must have driven up an exit ramp at some point. Whether he was confused, lost or impaired by drugs or alcohol, no explanation would excuse the deadly outcome from his negligent or reckless actions.
As this fatal wreck illustrates, wrong-way drivers put the lives and health of everyone on the road at risk. While such matters likely remain far from the victim's and survivors' minds at this time, the injured trucker and the family members of the deceased passenger have strong grounds for filing claims for compensation against the automobile insurance policy of the man behind the wheel of the pickup. The coverage terms remain in effect despite his passing. Punitive damages could also be available if police find he was drunk or drugged.
For now, I join my Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney colleagues in sending my wishes for a quick recovery to the trucker and condolences to the passenger's friends and family.