Drunk drivers are a serious menace on the roads of Virginia over the holidays. I was saddened to read about how a driver was charged with a DUI and other offenses after a crash that killed a popular father from Chesapeake.
WAVY.com reported on how the Parkview Baptist Church in Newport News is pulling together following the terrible accident on Christmas Eve. Michael Smith, the man who died in the accident on I-664 in Newport News, was a deacon, a spiritual leader and a Sunday school teacher at the Church.
Police say a 32-year-old man from Chesapeake has been charged with driving under the influence, maiming, and reckless driving over the accident near the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel.
Mr. Smith, 50, lost his life when his car was hit, causing it to flip several times. He was declared dead at the accident scene. His wife and three children suffered serious injuries and are still at the hospital. WAVY.com reported his oldest son remains in a coma at the hospital. My thoughts are with Mr. Smith’s family at this tragic time and I hope they make a full recovery.
WAVY.com reported on how their church family at Parkview Baptist gathered to pray for their healing at a service on Sunday night.
The TV station quoted the church’s pastor, Rusty Beck who said, “Those kids were all raised in this church. They were raised with my kids. So it’s really like, it’s truly like family.”
Church members gave their prayers and best wishes to the three members of the family who are struggling at the hospital.
According to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 251 people died in road accidents caused by alcohol in 2014 – the most recent year figures are available for. That represents almost 40 percent of all fatal crashes in the Commonwealth. Drunk driving caused 5,003 injuries that year, equating to almost 8 percent of crashes. The message from these statistics is very clear. When alcohol is involved in a crash, the consequences are often very severe.
Education and enforcement campaigns have helped cut back the number of drunk driving accidents from a high of 535 in 1990, which represented half of all fatal accidents in the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, there is no room for complacency and the reduction in DUI related deaths is little consolation if you have lost a loved one to a drunk driver.
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers we never represent drunk drivers. We sue them and their insurance companies. If you have lost a loved one or have been injured by an intoxicated driver, call us at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.