Newport News Wrongful Death Lawyer Report – Unanswered Questions over the Death of Crystal Autumn Burgsteiner on the I-664 in Chesapeake, VA
Worrying wrongful death questions are raised by the recent case of a woman from Newport News who was struck by a tractor trailer and killed in a broken down car by the I-664 in Chesapeake, VA.
Police said 27-year-old Crystal Autumn Burgsteiner of Newport News, VA died at the scene of a wreck on May 14, 2012, when her Nissan was hit by a truck and pushed off the shoulder near Portsmouth Boulevard on the I-664 south.
This case is all the more tragic because the dead woman was pregnant, according to WAVY TV.
In this case the victim was doing the right thing in activating her flashing lights. However, it did not save her from being hit by a truck driven by a 47-year-old from Richmond, VA.
Police said the trucker appeared to be suffering from a medical condition. State police acknowledged this but the driver was charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle.
State police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya told WAVY TV he was not charged with involuntary manslaughter “because of a preexisting medical condition, specifics of which cannot be released due to the HIPAA law.”
The media may not have a right to know about this medical condition but I believe the family of the victim and her unborn child does. A wrongful death case can be brought not just against a truck driver but against his trucking company. If his employer knew he had a preexisting medical condition why was he driving a massive tractor trailer which can so easily turn into a deadly weapon when the driver loses control?
An experienced Chesapeake personal injury attorney can demonstrate what the true facts are. A medical illness is rarely a valid defense because the driver would likely have known about it before he got behind the wheel. State police suggest as much by alluding to a “preexisting medical condition.”
In a wrongful death case I handled in 2010 following a tragic accident in Norfolk, VA, a dump truck hit a car that was traveling slowly due to a deflated tire, killing a 25-year-old man.
The $3.5 million settlement to the dead man’s child was the largest settlement of a motor vehicle related case in Virginia that year, according to the Virginia Lawyers Weekly newspaper.
I uncovered evidence that the dump truck operator had improperly managed diabetes that contributed to his carelessness. A truck driver is meant to look out for disabled vehicles. He can’t simply plough into them.
There are many similarities between this wrongful death case and the tragic death of Crystal Autumn Burgsteiner.