While current winter temps make many Virginians want to stay inside, summers in the state are a great time to hit the road and have some fun. Interstate traffic tends to be particularly heavy during the summertime, as people are headed all over the state or even to other parts of the country. Both summer and winter driving, though, can result in breakdowns which, for some, have proven fatal.

In the summer of 2012, a pregnant woman from Newport News was attending to her car, which had broken down on the side of I-664. Despite having her flashers on, a truck accident occurred when a tractor-trailer ran into her vehicle, ultimately claiming the life of the 27-year-old mother of two children. At the time of the crash, she was about four months pregnant.

Her husband has since pressed forward with a lawsuit against both the truck driver as well as Vitran Express, Inc. When a truck crash leaves fatalities in its wake, it is not unusual for families to examine the actions of, not only truck drivers, but also their employers. Operators can exhibit negligence via speeding, being distracted, driving inappropriately for weather conditions or disregarding traffic signs. Truck drivers can also behave negligently, if they are intoxicated or under the influence of certain substances, while on the road.

Employers of truck drivers may also be negligent in cases like this. For instance, if an employer fails to conduct background tests and hires a driver with a record of accidents or an inadequate license, that employer may be partly to blame for a crash. In the I-664 case, the lawsuit alleged that the truck driver had been engaged in speeding and reckless driving. In addition, he had a prior record of speeding, and driving without a license in several counties. After the case was settled, the victim’s family received over $3 million in compensation.

Source: WAVY, “Suit over accident that killed Va. woman settled,” Dec. 28, 2013