DWI and Manslaughter Charge is Brought Over Newport News Wrong Way Crash
A woman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and alcohol offenses over a Newport News wrong way crash that killed a man.
Police said the woman was driving a 2013 Chrysler northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 644 when she struck a Honda Accord head-on.
The woman is accused of driving the wrong way on the interstate close to the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel last week.
The head-on crash at 1:30 a.m. on June 8 led to the death of Leonardo Maldonado. The woman who hit him reportedly fled the scene and was later found at Sentara Hampton Careplex. Our thoughts are with Mr. Maldonado’s family after this senseless tragedy.
The woman has also been charged with Fail Stop Accident/Felony Death and Civil Violation – Refused Blood/Breath Test, according to TV station reports.
Wrong way drivers frequently cause head-on crashes. There are few things more frightening than driving on a fast interstate like I-664 and seeing a car heading toward you. In these circumstances, there is little time to take evasive action.
Newport News Wrong Way Crash – Drivers Are Often Impaired
A high proportion of wrong way crashes in Virginia are caused by drunk drivers. Wrong way crashes are typically more deadly than other kinds of wrecks.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, wrong way crashes kill as many as 300 to 400 people each year on average, representing about one percent of the total number of traffic-related deaths on the roads of America.
Although this is a small percentage overall, wrong way driver crashes are typically more severe than other types of crashes.
However, there are many strategies that national and state agencies can consider to address wrong-way maneuvers, ranging from improving design elements, to conventional traffic control devices, and information technology-based solutions. Design elements may be less effective at addressing wrong way crashes caused by drunk drivers.
Studies suggest as many as 70 percent of wrong way drivers are drunk. Elderly people are disproportionately represented too, suggesting older drivers are more likely to become confused about which direction they should be Heading in.
What Are the Main Causes of Wrong Way Driver Crashes?
- Alcohol or Drug Impairment – Intoxication of being high on drugs causes most wrong-way crashes, according to many studies.
- Driver age – elderly drivers may become more disoriented and confused on the highways. They may not be able to work out the correct direction of travel.
- Driver tiredness – Fatigue as well as other driver distractions can reduce alertness and mean drivers lose focus and may end up going the wrong way.
- Confusing ramp design – on occasions, unclear highway signage can lead drivers to ramps headed in the wrong direction.
- Teen drivers or drivers with psychiatric problems – a driver’s inexperience such as in the case of teen drivers or psychiatric issues may led to wrong way driver crashes.
We hope you are never involved in a crash involving a wrong way driver in Virginia. If you are hurt by a wrong way driver or an intoxicated driver, you may be severely injured and need to recover as much as you can. Tragically, drivers like Mr. Maldonado paid with their lives. Call our Newport News wrongful death drivers if you have lost a family member at (757) 455-0077.