2 Killed in Henrico, VA, Single 18-wheeler Accident on I-95
Henrico, VA -- Feburary 8, 2017, two people sustained fatal injuries following an accident where their 18-wheeler crashed off of Interstate 95.
Virginia State Police responded to the accident scene at around 1:15 a.m. They say it took place at the intersection of I-95 and I-295.
Preliminary investigations indicate that two people were occupying an 18-wheeler that was traveling northbound on I-95. As it did so, the vehicle somehow lost control and ran off the side of the road. The 18-wheeler careened under the I-295 overpass and crashed head-on into a concrete pillar.
The collision caused the truck to catch on fire. Due to the severity of the crash, both the driver and the passenger died at the scene of the accident.
Investigators have yet to determine what exactly caused the accident. Their investigations are ongoing.
Map of the Area
Maybe you're familiar with the mathematical theory of probability. Stated plainly, though an event seems to have a 100% chance of occurring, that doesn't necessarily mean it will occur. Almost surely then becomes impossible to guarantee. Well, while most may think this case is a grand slam, the fact is there are a few scenarios which may alter the outcome.
Look, we can't say for certain what took place in this accident as the early report has left out some major details. But, the easy assumption would be the driver fell asleep, was distracted, or there was some sort of catastrophic mechanical failure. Those are all reasonable possibilities, however, they amount to nothing more than accusations at this point. We also don't know the identities of who was involved, nor their relationship to one another. How is this important?
Let's say the deceased passenger happens to be a friend invited along for a free road trip. Maybe they are the driver's spouse. Heck, maybe the driver felt kind enough to pick up a stranded hitchhiker, taking them to their next destination. While we don't know for sure, in any of these three scenarios, the victim's family may have cause of action, because the truck driver would owe them a duty of care to get them to their destination safely.
Another scenario might be the passenger was an employee, and was off the clock, fast asleep. In this instance, the family may have cause of action as the victim would not be considered in the course and scope of employment. Simply put, course and scope of employment simply means that a worker was on the clock and doing work stuff.
What if the passenger was on the clock helping the driver navigate the route? In this situation, the passenger would be considered in the course and scope of employment, and the victim's injuries would be considered a matter handled by the worker's comp system. Simply put, the victim's family would not have recourse to the courts in this situation.
As you can see, this area of the law is far more complex than it seems on the surface. This is a perfect example of the potential quandries faced by the loved ones of injured victims in truck accidents. Trust me, there are trucking companies that will do all they can to muddy the waters if it means saving a dollar or two, and protecting their reputations. While an accident of this type may seem like the case of the century, we know almost surely is impossible to guarantee.
-Grossman Law Offices