Lane Change Accident in Virginia Beach Caused Death of Biker
Lane change accidents are common in Hampton Roads. Often drivers escape with property damage or minor injuries. These types of wrecks can be deadly for motorcyclists. We were saddened to read about how a lane change accident in Virginia Beach left a rider dead.
Police said the accident occurred on I-264 West on a wet evening in November. Virginia State Police said the crash near Rosemont Road involved three vehicles – a Ford Mustang, a Mitsubishi Lancer and a Harley-Davidson FX motorcycle.
The 25-year-old driver of the Mustang started changing lanes and crossed into the path of the Mitsubishi, causing the Mitsubishi to rear-end the Ford Mustang.
The lane change accident in Virginia Beach quickly became a chain-reaction crash. The driver of the Mustang crossed into the lane of the motorcycle after he was hit from behind. He struck the Harley Davidson.
Tragically, the 35-year-old rider, later identified as Joshua David Patterson, ran off the road. He hit a dividing wall and was ejected from the Harley into the eastbound traffic lanes on I-264.
Mr. Patterson was taken to Virginia Beach General Hospital, where he died early on the morning of Nov. 16.
The driver of the Mustang sustained non-life threatening injuries. He was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Patterson after this terrible accident. Far too many motorists lose their lives due to alcohol on the highways of Hampton Roads. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to life-threatening injuries after lane change accidents.
When Lane Change Accidents in Virginia Beach Claim Lives
It is not illegal to change lanes in Virginia unless you cross double white lines such as those in tunnels. However, lane changes cause many accidents in the Commonwealth.
Impaired drivers may lack spatial awareness or make reckless lanes changes. Other drivers can cause crashes if they fail to check their blind spots. Lane changes can be dangerous when:
- The driver changing lanes fails to signal;
- A driver unexpectedly changes lanes and cuts in front of another vehicle;
- The driver straddles two lanes;
- A driver drifts across lanes in slippery conditions;
- A motorist weaves in and out of lanes to get ahead;
- A driver changes more than one lane at a time;
- A motorist passes when it’s not permitted;
- A driver changes lanes and suddenly slows down.
In wet conditions when visibility is reduced, lane changes can be more dangerous. Smaller vehicles such as motorcycles are less visible on the highway in dark, wet conditions.
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we vigorously defend the rights of motorcyclists in Virginia. The number of deaths of motorcyclists rose almost 50 percent year-on-year in Virginia from 2016 to 2017. Clearly, drivers are failing to get the message to look out for bikers. Many drivers fail to look out for riders when they make left turns or change lanes.
The recent fatal lane change accident in Virginia Beach is just the latest in a series of motorcyclist deaths in Virginia’s biggest city this year.
We urge drivers to look out for riders and not to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle, car, truck or pedestrian accident, please contact our Virginia Beach personal injury team today.