Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

Bad stretch of road causes crashes; city, historians can't agree

We have all driven on roads where it is apparent that an accident could easily occur. Blind or sharp turns, suddenly narrow stretches or extreme rises or dips in a roadway can catch a driver unprepared and cause a collision. Sometimes, there is not much that can be done to warn drivers past posting warning signs of the impending hazard. Our Lynchburg readers may be interested to hear about a stretch of road where improvements could prevent another fatal accident from occurring, but the plan has met with opposition.

The latest accident on Route 5 in Henrico County occurred on Oct. 28. A 23-year-old man was driving a Jeep east on Route 5 when he crossed the double line and struck a school bus heading west. The man had to be extricated from his vehicle and suffered serious injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died. Two high school students and the bus driver were treated for minor injuries.

This stretch of highway is no stranger to accidents. According to the most recent data, there were 193 accidents along Route 5 between 2006 and 2008. The Virginia Department of Transportation has conducted a study along what is called the Route 5 Corridor. The study suggested that the most problematic sections of Route 5 should be widened, or that traffic be diverted to another highway better equipped to handle large volumes of traffic.

It's hoped that by widening the road and diverting traffic, the number of accidents would decrease. However, those opposed to plan object because they do not want the historic character of the area to change. Because of the objections, none of the suggestions in the extensive study have been implemented.

The Virginia Department of Transportation may want to rethink that stance. Having knowledge that a potentially hazardous situation exists but doing nothing to it could be considered reckless disregard. If someone is injured while driving on that particular stretch of highway, the state could be found financially responsible.

Anyone who is involved in an accident and is injured due to no fault of their own has a right to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. An experienced legal professional can help determine the best course of action.

Source: WTVR.com, "Soldier driving Jeep dies after Henrico school bus crash on troubled road" Scott Wise, Jake Burns, Shelby Brown and Lorenzo Hall, Oct. 28, 2013

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