Hampton Roads has a number of fast-moving urban highways that present serious and dangerous obstacles to pedestrians.
One of these is Jefferson Avenue in Newport News which runs north to south and cuts communities in half. This is a busy road artery in a busy city.
Traffic moves fast on Jefferson Avenue and it’s a very unfriendly highway for both pedestrians and cyclists with a lack of crosswalks. Over the years there have been an alarming number of pedestrian accidents on Jefferson Avenue.
Earlier this year a 60-year-old woman from Hampton was hit and killed on Jefferson Avenue by a driver who fled the accident scene.
The woman, Sandra E. Balance of Bellwood Road in Hampton, had been walking on the side of the highway in the 9500 block of Jefferson, near police headquarters, at about 1:15 a.m.
Reports suggested she was avoiding snow piled up on the sidewalk. The car did not stop and was last seen northbound on Jefferson.
Jefferson Avenue also sees a considerable amount of truck traffic given the heavy industry on the southern end of the Virginia Peninsula.
In 2012, a 36-year-old man was severely injured when he was hit by a truck as he was walking near the intersection of Jefferson and Industrial Park Drive. In October, 2011, a 35-year-old woman was hit and killed by a car on Jefferson Avenue close to Morris Drive.
One of the most recent deaths to occur on Jefferson Avenue was seen in April 2015. The Daily Press reported on how a 64-year-old man was killed near Ellen Drive when he stumbled and fell into the right traffic lane of Jefferson Avenue where he was struck by a Chrysler.
In some of these cases contributory negligence – an archaic rule in Virginia that prevents you making a compensation claim if you are at all to blame for your accident – might prevent a wrongful death claim.
However, pedestrians have rights if they are hit on fast-moving highways such as Jefferson Avenue as do the family members of pedestrians who are killed.
In Virginia, pedestrians are impacted by a number of rules that relate to the use of sidewalks, crosswalks, roadways, and highways in the Commonwealth. Pedestrians have the right of way on Virginia’s sidewalks, and are required to walk on them instead of the roadway if one is present. If there is no sidewalk, you should always keep on the far left either facing oncoming traffic or on the shoulder if it is wide enough to provide safe passage.
If you have been hurt as a pedestrian or of you have lost a loved one on a busy highway such as Jefferson Avenue, you should call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077. Cooper Hurley has a client meeting location in Oyster Point in Newport News where we meet clients by appointment.