An accident that occurred earlier this week in Tazewell County in the southwest portion of the state has claimed one life.

The Virginia State Police investigated the fatal collision between a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a logging truck on Oct. 17. According to their report, at about 4:20 in the afternoon, the log truck driver attempted a U-turn by pulling the rig to the right shoulder of Route 460 to finish executing the maneuver.

But while the logger was merging with the eastbound lanes, it pulled into the path of the Grand Cherokee, causing the driver to run into the back of the log truck.

The 68-year-old Jeep driver, a Tazewell resident, was taken by ambulance to Tazewell Community Hospital. He succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

The log truck driver, 31 and also from Tazewell, was unhurt in the collision. He was charged with failing to yield the right-of-way.

Under most circumstances, when rear-end collisions occur, the driver who runs into the vehicle ahead is determined to be liable, as it is assumed that he or she was following too closely to avoid an accident. However, when the vehicle in the front engaged in an illegal maneuver such as a U-turn on a highway, that shifts the liability back onto that driver.

If you have been injured in a collision with an at-fault truck driver, you can seek civil justice through the Virginia civil court system. Your chances at recovering compensation do not depend on the other driver’s having received a criminal summons or traffic ticket in the accident, as many injured drivers and their passengers believe.

Source: WJHL, “VSP investigate fatal crash involving logging truck in Tazewell County, VA,” Oct. 18, 2016