When Virginians go through driver’s education programs, they’re usually cautioned against passing at the wrong time. Passing another vehicle is generally only done under ideal circumstances, such as good weather, road markings that indicate passing is allowed and the lack of traffic in either direction. Attempts to pass at the wrong time can easily result in fatal car accidents and the resulting death and funeral expenses for the victims’ families.

In Lynchburg last month, a fatal accident claimed the life of a passenger in one of the vehicles involved in the wreck. A 29-year-old driver of a Dodge Ram attempted to pass another vehicle near Graves Mill Road and Gristmill Drive. The Ram, which police say was traveling at a high rate of speed, struck the other car, which was also a Dodge pickup truck. A 73-year-old man, who was injured in the crash, was driving the vehicle that was hit. His passenger was also severely injured and passed away later at Lynchburg General Hospital.

The crash involved a third vehicle as well. After the victims’ truck was hit, that truck careened into a third vehicle, a Nissan Sentra. Fortunately, the driver of that vehicle escaped any serious injuries. Police reports initially misidentified the car that was traveling fast; police later issued an updated release that correctly identified the 29-year-old’s car as the one that was proceeding quickly as it tried to pass the other truck.

When fatal motor vehicle accidents occur, initial and subsequent police reports can prove crucial. First, they are an important component of the overall investigation, which usually concludes with a determination of who was at fault or what caused the accident. In addition, police reports can help surviving family members pursue a wrongful death suit if the accident and resulting death were caused by another’s negligence or misconduct. If corrected or updated police reports are issued, it is important that families utilize these as well.

Those affected by a fatal motor vehicle collision should understand their situation and possible options. They should also ensure that investigation is properly conducted and completed. This can be essential for those seeking to file a claim for compensation for the loss of their loved one.

Source: The News & Advance, “State police update circumstances of fatal accident in Forest,” Nov. 1, 2013