A Nov. 4 tractor trailer crash near Newport News, VA on I-64 East killed one when it hit a stationary VDOT service vehicle, according to Virginia State Police.
The wreck occurred west of Fort Eustis Blvd. at 3:40 am as road crews were at work picking up traffic cones near a crash truck that was owned by VDOT.
A tractor trailer driving in the right lane slammed into the stationary crash truck and pushed the truck into the left lane. The big rig ran off the road and into the ditch.
In the left lane, another big rig attempted to avoid the VDOT crash truck that had gotten pushed into that lane. It then flew off the road on the left side, hitting several trees and then overturned.
The driver of that big rig was killed at the scene, who was identified by WKTR in Hampton Roads as William Robinson of Staunton VA. The driver of the first tractor trailer was charged with reckless driving.
Our Virginia trucking crash law firm sends our deepest condolences to the family of the victim who died in this avoidable tragedy. We also would like to note that the Virginia Supreme Court this year handed down a decision that could make it easier for plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits to obtain the insurance claims to which they are entitled, especially when they are outside their vehicle, but using it.
The Virginia Supreme Courgt case was about crash where two inebriated drivers initiated a multiple vehicle wreck in a work zone on a Virginia highway. Their car slammed into a construction vehicle on the side of the road and killed a worker by pinning him between the construction truck and a front end loader.
In the wrongful death lawsuit, the jury awarded $5 million to the deceased worker’s family. However, the family could not collect such a large amount from the drunk drivers. So, the plaintiffs’ attorneys sought additional coverage under the uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage on the construction vehicles, even though the worker was not in the vehicle—he was standing beside it. The Trial court judge ruled that the underinsured motorist coverage was not applicable, but the Virginia Supreme Court reversed that ruling, holding that the insurance coverage was applicable because the worker was “using” the vehicle at the time, which includes standing right beside the vehicle.
Our hope is that this case will result in the grieving family collecting more significant insurance proceeds.