Skolrood Law Firm Blog

Serving Central and South Virginia

Driver Dies When Pickup Truck Plummets 135 Feet Off Blue Ridge Parkway

by sko | July 28th, 2011

July 28, 2011

On Friday, July 22, a man was found dead inside his pickup truck, having driven 135 feet off a cliff along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County, Virginia.

The deceased’s brother reportedly called 911 after discovering the wrecked black Ford Ranger truck, which he had been out looking for. The call came in around 1:40 p.m., though it’s not known when the crash occurred or how long the man had been dead.

“Collisions are fairly common on the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said National Park Service spokesperson Miranda Cook to WSET.  “It’s a dangerous road.”

A WSET article also includes an interview with Montvale volunteer firefighter Scott Hawkins, who indicated the circumstances of the crash were puzzling to rescue crews.

“I’m not sure exactly what happened here,” said Hawkins. “It’s definitely not in a sharp turn, it’s not where a lot of accidents occur … When I arrived there was a family member that waved me down, there was a family member here … But any obvious marks in the parking lot, there were none to indicate there was an accident here.”

Crews pulled the truck out of the ravine by 5 p.m. on Friday.

The victim’s name and age have not been released.

Last month a young man died when he fell from a cliff along the Blue Ridge Parkway while rock climbing.

Read more.

Do you think the Blue Ridge Parkway is unsafe for Virginia drivers?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Number of Distracted Driving Crashes in Lynchburg On the Rise

by sko | July 21st, 2011

July 21, 2011

Distracted driving caused 404 crashes, 172 injuries, and two deaths in Lynchburg, Virginia, last year, according to The News & Advance.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports that in 2010 there were 5,396 distracted-driving-related crashes statewide, which injured 22,292 people and killed 281.

“Driving is a complex task,” said Lynchburg Officer Ronnie Sitler. “Anything you do—such as fiddling with the radio or the GPS or talking on your phone—is a distraction that can lead to a crash.”

Distracted driving in Virginia—and across the country—has become so pervasive that the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is now seeking out people willing to have cameras installed in their cars so that the effects of distractions can be observed.

A previous Virginia Tech study, which looked specifically at distracted driving amongst commercial truckers and bus drivers, found that drivers who are texting behind the wheel take their eyes off the road for 4.6 out of every 6 seconds while texting.

“In my opinion, almost all accidents are caused by some sort of distraction,” said Lynchburg Officer J.W. Blankenship. “If you are paying attention and following the law, you wouldn’t have a crash. People I write speeding tickets to, many say, ‘I wasn’t paying attention.’ If you weren’t paying attention, then what were you doing?”

Read more.

What do you think should be done to deter distracted driving in Virginia?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

7-Year-Old on Bicycle Hit by Car in Lynchburg

by sko | July 14th, 2011

July 14, 2011

A seven-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was hit by a car on Saturday, July 9, while riding his bike in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The accident occurred around 3 p.m. in the 200 block of Chapel Lane near Old Forest Road. A 1997 Honda Accord driven by a 37-year-old Lynchburg woman struck the boy after he rode his bicycle into the road, according to WDBJ7.

The driver of the Accord called for help, and the boy was initially taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. He has since been airlifted to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating the crash and urging anyone with information to call the Traffic Safety Unit at at 455-6047 or the Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. They have not yet filed any charges.

WSET reports that the boy lives in Capital Heights, Maryland, and was in Lynchburg visiting family.

This was the second child to be hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Lynchburg this month. On Monday, July 4, a boy was hit by a car at the intersection of G and Norwood Streets after he failed to mind a stop sign.

Do you think bicycle safety programs would help reduce the number of accidents for cyclists in Lynchburg?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Evington Man Gets 4 Months in Jail for DUI Maiming

by sko | July 7th, 2011

July 7, 2011

On Wednesday a 44-year-old Evington, Virginia, man was sentenced to four months in jail after causing a January 2009 drunken-driving wreck that broke a Campbell County woman’s pelvis and injured one of her ankles.

The man plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and a felony charge of DUI maiming.

The accident occurred January 7, 2009, when the man crashed his vehicle into the victim’s car as she pulled into her driveway near the intersection of Waterlick and Lawyers roads.

The case had been delayed to see if the woman would recover from her injuries but she hasn’t, said Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Paul McAndrews to The News & Advance. Instead, she now suffers chronic pain and has an altered gait.

“There’s nothing you could do to [the DUI offender] because [the victim] still thinks about him every day when she wakes up in pain,” said McAndrews, who also said the victim is not satisfied with the plea agreement.

Read more.

Do you think justice was served following this Virginia auto accident?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Police Investigate King George County Crash That Killed Trooper

by sko | June 30th, 2011

June 30, 2011

A 28-year-old Virginia state trooper died instantly on Friday when his cruiser struck another car at an intersection in King George County and then collided with a traffic light pole.

The trooper–a Warsaw resident–had been responding to a call for assistance around 6:45 p.m. and was traveling westbound on Route 3 with his lights and siren on when he entered the intersection of Route 3 and Madison Drive. At the same time an eastbound Hyundai Elantra on Route 3 was trying to make a left turn. The two vehicles collided, sending the patrol car into a light pole that split the vehicle in half. A portion of the car careened into a nearby parking lot where it hit three parked cars.

The Hyundai driver and passenger, aged 69 and 62, both suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.

The Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction team is investigating the accident—trying to determine the speed at which both vehicles were traveling and who had the green light.

Do you think this Virginia auto accident could have been prevented?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Virginia Bus Crash Victims Still Recuperating from Injuries

by sko | June 23rd, 2011

June 23, 2011

A Richmond, Virginia, bus crash last month killed four women when a Sky Express bus driver fell asleep at the wheel. Today some of the 58 victims who were on the bus are still suffering, including one Michigan man and his mother, who remains hospitalized with serious spinal cord injuries.

This week Central Michigan newspaper The Morning Sun ran a follow-up story on the son and his mother. The 23-year-old man had just graduated from Central Michigan University and he and his mom were on the bus headed from North Carolina–where they were visiting friends–to New York City.

Now, almost a month since the tragedy, his 47-year-old mom remains on a ventilator in the surgical intensive care unit at Fredericksburg’s Mary Washington Hospital. She had been visiting the U.S. from Nepal so that she could attend her son’s graduation.

The man sustained back injuries and is still wearing a back brace, reports the newspaper. His neurosurgeons have yet to determine whether his back will require surgery. A fund has been established to assist with the family’s healthcare expenses.

The highly publicized bus accident occurred on Interstate 95 on Tuesday, May 31, just before 5 a.m. When the driver fell asleep, the bus left the road, smashed into a barrier, and rolled over. Four people were killed and more than 50 were injured.

The 37-year-old driver has been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and remains in Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, Virginia. According to a court affidavit, passengers had overheard the driver on his cell phone saying that he was too tired and hadn’t been able to rest between trips.

Federal law mandates that drivers may only spend 10 hours behind the wheel and must have eight hours off per day. Officials have shut down the bus company, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, for multiple safety violations.

Read more.

Do you think more needs to be done to enforce commercial vehicle safety? Do you think it should be illegal for commercial drivers to be behind the wheel during those hours when scientists say the body naturally craves sleep?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Rock Climber Dies in Fall at Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook

by sko | June 16th, 2011

June 16, 2011

A 20-year-old man from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, died in Virginia’s Augusta County on Wednesday while rock-climbing at Ravens Roost Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The man fell 100 feet to his death at around 2:15 p.m.

It was reportedly the man’s first time to try outdoor rock climbing, and he and two friends—aged 21 and 30–had been climbing since 11:30 a.m., using the top-rope climbing method whereby a rope is anchored to a tree at the top of a cliff.

On their sixth climb of the day, which was to be their last, the man fell. The cause of the accident hasn’t yet been determined.

National Park Service District Ranger Kurt Speers told The News & Advance that “it looks like some kind of equipment failure.”

And though the man’s friends say they initially thought the fall was caused by a rope that broke, they told The News & Advance that they couldn’t find any breaks in the rope that the man was using.

“Something like this has never happened,” said one of the climbers, who has a reported 10 years experience. “I just can’t understand what happened.”

The National Park Service will continue to investigate the death–examining setup, equipment maintenance, and photos taken by first responders.

Read more.

What can be done to make rock climbing safer? Should rock-climbers have to be certified to climb or to earn a license like a pilot might?

If your loved one or the loved one of someone you know has become the victim of a Virginia wrongful death, the Virginia wrongful death lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Coal mining accident to blame for Virginia wrongful death

by sko | June 8th, 2011

June 9, 2011

A miner has become the most recent victim of a Virginia wrongful death.

According to wric.com, a man became a Virginia wrongful death victim when his truck carrying coal rolled over at a state surface mine. The Virginia wrongful death victim was pinned in the cab of a 1975 Mack, and he worked for Presley Trucking.

The Virginia wrongful death victim had hit a safety beam while decending a steep slope, the article said. The Virginia wrongful death was ruled an accident in a preliminary report.

The Virginia wrongful death victim was 71.

Read more.

What do you think the federal government could do to regulate the safety procedures of coal mining? What do you think makes it such a dangerous industry?

If your loved one or the loved one of someone you know has become the victim of a Virginia wrongful death, the Virginia wrongful death lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Man strikes restaurant in Virginia auto accident

by sko | May 18th, 2011

May 19, 2011

The driver of a minivan plowed his vehicle through a Troutville restaurant in a Virginia auto accident, according to The Republic.

A 71-year-old hit the gas pedal instead of the break in the Virginia auto accident, sending the man’s vehicle into Hardee’s restaurant.

No injuries were reported in the Virginia auto accident.

Read more.

Would it be discriminating to take one’s driver’s license away after they reach a certain age? Do you think it’s fair that insurance companies raise their rates on auto insurance when someone gets older?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.

Man dies in Virginia auto accident on Interstate 64

by sko | May 11th, 2011

May 12, 2011

A man involved in a Virginia auto accident was killed, according to hamptonroads.com.

The Virginia auto accident took place on Interstate 64 and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man’s SUV veered into a concrete barrier, and law enforcement officials say he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the Virginia auto accident.

Read more.

Do you think there would be fewer deadly Virginia auto accidents if drivers wore their seatbelts? What can law enforcement officials do to ensure that drivers and their passengers wear their seatbelt?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Virginia auto accident, the Virginia auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm can help.