Robert Crittsinger of Norfolk was Killed in Wreck Involving Police Car

By Griff O'Hanlon, Norfolk Car Wreck Lawyer

New information has been released regarding the fatal car wreck involving a Norfolk Police Department officer that I wrote about yesterday . As I previously stated, the collision occurred at the intersection of Hampton Boulevard and Surrey Crescent as the police officer was responding to a call of shots fired in the area of Graydon Avenue. 

police cruiser was involved in fatal Norfolk wreck

News reports from the accident scene said bystanders immediately rushed to provide assistance to both the police officer and the driver of a Toyota Prius who was trapped in his vehicle on Hampton Boulevard.  Emergency medical personnel arrived shortly thereafter.  Unfortunately, the Prius driver was pronounced dead at the scene.  Authorities have since identified the deceased driver as Robert E. Crittsinger, Jr., 79, of Norfolk, Virginia. 

Motor vehicle accidents involving police vehicles during a high-speed pursuit or response present complex legal issues.  Under most circumstances, police officers responding to emergency calls for service enjoy sovereign immunity, meaning they can only be held liable for wrongdoing if their actions amounted to gross negligence.  This is a much higher standard of negligence than the one generally applicable to citizen motorists.  As such, a person injured in a situation similar to the one which occurred this weekend normally cannot hold the city responsible for the actions of its employee officer. 

However, in the event of a police officer being deemed immune, an individual may be able to financially recover from his or her uninsured motorist insurance policy.  As the name suggests, car insurance policy’s uninsured motorist provision protects you if you are injured by a driver who lacks insurance coverage. 

Losing a loved one in a motor vehicle accident is a shocking and traumatic experience.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Crittsinger during these difficult times. 

Over the last two days police cruisers have been involved in a number of incidents in the Tidewater area. In Portsmouth, a man was charged with DUI after crashing into a police car on High Street, police say. In Virginia Beach on Monday, a police car was damaged after a pursuit that ended in a car crash near FTC Dam Neck.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have decades of experience in helping people who have lost a loved one and filing wrongful death lawsuits on their behalf. If you have lost a loved one in a car wreck on the streets of Norfolk, Hampton, Chesapeake or any other city in Hampton Roads or Virginia, please call us at (757) 455-0077 or see the Contact Us page on our website.

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