By John Cooper, Virginia Trucking Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving snow plows made headlines in Virginia during recent snowstorms when they claimed two lives.
Virginia State Police suggested a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) contractor was at fault for the death of a driver in Chesapeake.
At the end of last month police said the operator of the motor grader was at fault in the fatal crash at the I-264 and I-664 interchange that killed Keith Shearrin of Portsmouth in Chesapeake. The accident took place on February 17 around 9:40 p.m. Keith Shearrin, of Portsmouth, hit a Caterpillar motor grader and crashed .
During the snowstorms last month a Henrico woman died after she was struck by a VDOT snowplow while riding her bicycle. The accident happened at Virginia Center Commons in Glen Allen, according to Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Vick.
Authorities later identified the bicyclist as 31-year-old Fedora M. Henderson, of Henrico. Police said she was transported to VCU Medical Center, where she died of her injuries.
Friends said that when Henderson worked the early morning shift at the Target near Virginia Center Commons, she always rode her bike because that was “the only way she could get to work.”
Investigators said the VDOT plow driver was clearing snow from the northbound lane of Route 1 and Henderson was travelling in the same direction when she collided with the truck. The 37-year-old truck driver from Chester, was not injured and was wearing a seatbelt.
It was not clear from reports which party was to blame for the accident. It’s very important to take precautions when you are in close proximity to snow plows. Here are some precautions you should take:
- Give snowplows plenty of room to work on the roads. Never tailgate or try to pass on untreated roads. Bear in mind snow plows may not be operating alone. There may be a team that will block up several lanes of the highway;
- Stay at least four car lengths back from snowplows and clearing equipment ; Be aware that freshly plowed snow can kick up a cloud that can blind drivers following too close ;
- You should slow down even more in construction zones even if they are inactive in winter weather
- Drive in areas treated by plows rather than the untreated areas in front of snow plows where you could get into trouble.
If you have been injured by a snow plow you may have a case against a driver or a contractor. Call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077.