Tractor Trailer Driver Charged in Virginia I-81 Crash

A tractor-trailer crash in Rockbridge County, Virginia left a man from North Carolina with serious accident injuries on Sept. 14, according to the Virginia State Police. 

The serious truck accident happened at 10 PM near mile marker 206. This is near the city of Staunton on I-81.

Lawsuit leads to $939,000 settlement.

The police reported that a 2013 Chevy Silverado was hauling several barrels of non-hazardous fluid in the right lane, headed northbound. The pickup truck was traveling at 40 MPH on the highway, so the tractor-trailer swerved suddenly to avoid it. The big rig could not avoid the smaller truck, and the second truck hit the guardrail and flipped.

The barrels of fluid broke open and a major cleanup was required for several hours.

The tractor-trailer driver has been charged with an unsafe lane change.

Our View

Our Virginia personal injury attorneys are very familiar with how unsafe lane changes by truck drivers can lead to serious and sometimes fatal accidents. It is common for truck drivers to be in a hurry, distracted, tired, aggressive or careless on the highways. A sudden lane change such as occurred in the above accident is very unsafe, especially with a huge big rig.

Tractor trailer drivers have been trained to never make sudden lane changes. They undergo many hours of training and testing before they receive their CDL. Truck drivers are carefully taught how to change lanes safely, how to deal with blind spots, and to look carefully before they change lanes to ensure there is no vehicle next to them.

In the above wreck, the pickup truck was driving slowly on the highway because of the load in its bed. The tractor-trailer driver should have been able to see the pickup truck from a good distance away. It is likely if he had been paying proper attention, he would have seen the truck going slowly and slowed down. Unfortunately, the accident has left the pickup driver with serious injuries.

These type of tractor trailer crashes in Virginia are hardly unusual. Our personal injury attorneys handled a similar truck crash where the big rig rear-ended a car that was going slowly on I-64 after a flat tire. The defense argued that the driver’s slow speed contributed to the crash, but we showed that the trucker had not followed several VA CDL rules.

That wrongful death lawsuit resulted in a $3.5 million settlement, which has helped the family to deal with the tragedy and to have a degree of financial stability that would have been difficult otherwise.