Police Work Deadly Crash at the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
The bridges and tunnels of Hampton Roads are among the most dangerous places in Tidewater. I was saddened to read about a deadly crash at the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel early this morning.
State police confirmed at least one person died in the wreck on Interstate 664 Southbound near the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel in Newport News.
Dispatchers from Newport News Police Department confirmed at least one fatality was reported, WAVY.com reported.
The accident was reported at about 1:30 a.m. Friday. It blocked all of the southbound lanes on I-664. Virginia State Police troopers detoured traffic off the interstate at 35th Street near the Newport News Shipyard.
Virginia State Police later said a wrong way driver caused the crash. A 2013 Chrysler 200 was going northbound on the southbound lanes when it hit a Honda Accord head-on. The driver of the Honda, later identified as 59-year-old Leonardo Maldonado, died in the impact.
The driver of the Chrysler fled the scene, according to reports, and was later found at Sentara Hampton Careplex hospital. State police say charges against the wrong way driver are pending.
The I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and the approach lanes to the tunnel are among the most deadly stretches of road in the Tidewater area. Often traffic changes lanes before tunnels, causing confusion and chaos while other cars enter the highway from slip roads.
This is not the first fatal crash at the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel in recent years. Other dangerous bridges and tunnels include the highly congested Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel that links Hampton with Norfolk and the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels linking Portsmouth and Norfolk.
The Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) is typically less congested than the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel that also links the Virginia Peninsula to the southside but sees its fair share of serious accidents.
What is the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel?
The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is a 4.6 mile long bridge-tunnel complex that completed 23 miles of Interstate 664 when it was built 26 years ago. At that time, it was the largest construction project in Virginia state history.
The new link was hailed as a means of increasing the prosperity of the Hampton Roads region at that time.
The MMMBT has also seen numerous accidents, many of them involving big rigs. In February this year, a tractor-trailer crashed on the bridge-tunnel between Newport News and Suffolk pinning a car against the jersey wall. Injuries were reported.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers represented a tow truck driver who sustained horrendous injuries when he was hit by a drunk driver on the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.
The impact of the crash was so severe our client from Portsmouth sustained a displaced fracture of the clavicle, a broken ankle bone, a concussion, and injuries to his knee.
He was no longer able to work as a tow truck operator or to do tasks like playing with his children. He suffered long-lasting issues because of his head injury. He was awarded $895,000 in compensation.
Our thoughts are with the family of the victim of the latest deadly crash at the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.
If you have lost a loved one or been hurt in a crash, please call our Hampton Roads injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077. Consultations are free and you never pay until a case is resolved. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has client meeting locations on the Virginia Peninsula in Newport News and Hampton.