Wrong Way Driver Caused Deadly 164 Crash in Portsmouth, Say Police

By Griff O'Hanlon, Portsmouth Injury Lawyer

Head-on accidents are among the most serious kinds of wrecks we see on the highways of Hampton Roads and Virginia as well as in north eastern North Carolina.

Although it can be hard to imagine the circumstances in which a driver ends up traveling in the wrong direction, these kinds of wrecks occur more often than we might think. Given the powerful forces involved in head-on collisions, they frequently end up causing serious injuries or fatalities.


Over the weekend, a wrong-way crash left a woman dead and a man with serious injuries on 164 West (Western Freeway) between Towne Point Road and College Drive in the Western Branch area on the line between the cities of Suffolk and Portsmouth.

WAVY.com reported this accident occurred early on Sunday morning. An initial investigation by Suffolk Police found the driver of a small SUV was going the wrong way. The driver then struck another vehicle head-on causing the accident in Portsmouth.

When officers arrived at the accident scene, they found a black Ford Escape, driven by a 38-year-old woman, and a Chrysler PT Cruiser, driven by a 25-year-old man. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage. The female driver of the SUV was declared dead at the accident scene. The man driving the Chrysler was seriously injured but is expected to survive, according to media reports. I hope he is able to make a speedy recovery.

A number of factors lead to wrong-way crashes.  Typically, they are more likely to occur late at night or in the early hours when it is dark and drivers may be more fatigued. The accident on 164 West occurred at 3:30 a.m.  As many as three-quarters of wrong-way crashes occur when it’s dark.

Alcohol and drugs are another major cause of these accidents. As many as 60 percent of wrong-way drivers are intoxicated at the time of their accident, according to statistics.

Age appears to be another significant factor in wrong-way crashes. In wrong way crashes involving drivers who were not intoxicated, a significant proportion were over 65.

The federal government’s National Transportation Safety Board looked into wrong-way driving in 2013.

“Wrong-way collisions occur relatively infrequently, accounting for only about 3 percent of accidents on high-speed divided highways, but they are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than are other types of highway accidents,” the report stated.

The report called for a number of measures to be explored including better lighting and signing at exit ramps to mark the wrong way, GPS wrong way navigational alerts and investment in alcohol detection technology systems.

If you have been injured by a wrong-way driver or a driver who crosses a center line, or if you have lost a loved one in a wreck, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.


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