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When Tragedy Strikes on the Highway Waiting for Assistance on I-64

Each year hundreds of drivers and State Troopers across the country have been killed due to being struck by vehicles, but it is especially tragic when they are struck by drivers under the influence.

On Thursday evening a Virginia Beach man was struck on I-64 east, west of the Twin Bridges while waiting for assistance after his car broke down the day before, according to state police. He has been identified as Tyler A. Carnes, 21, of the 900 block of Antonick Lane; he was driving a 1998 Honda Civic.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya reported Carnes moved his car to the left shoulder, turned on the car’s hazard lights and called AAA for assistance. While Carnes was waiting for help, the driver of a 2001 Ford Explorer ran off the road to the left and struck the Civic, causing Carnes to suffer life-threatening injuries were he later died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Anaya said.

Robert G. Horton, 47, of Norfolk, suffered minor injuries and was charged with driving under the influence, second offense, and was taken to jail in Virginia Beach, where he received a $1,500 secured bond, Anaya said

Virginia has specific laws set up not only for DUI offenders but for drivers to yield when approaching stationary vehicles in shoulder.

Section 46.2-921.1 of the Code of Virginia states:

§ 46.2-921.1. Drivers to yield right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching stationary emergency vehicles on highways; penalties.

A. The driver of any motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating blue, red, or amber light or lights as provided in § 46.2-1022, 46.2-1023, or 46.2-1024 or subdivision A 1 or A 2 of § 46.2-1025 shall (i) on a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or (ii) if changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

B. A violation of any provision of this section shall be punishable as a traffic infraction, except that a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this section, when such violation involved a vehicle with flashing, blinking, or alternating blue or red lights, shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. If the violation resulted in damage to property of another person, the court may, in addition, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not more than one year. If the violation resulted in injury to another person, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not more than two years. If the violation resulted in the death of another person, the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, order the suspension of the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for two years.

D. The provisions of this section shall not apply in highway work zones as defined in § 46.2-878.1.

(2002, cc. 163, 341; 2008, c. 818; 2010, c. 289.)

There are several programs and campaigns that have been set up to assist drivers. VDOT and the State Troopers just to name a few have dollars set aside for driving safety.

Safety Service Patrol

Just a few years ago, The Virginia Department of Transportation Safety Service Patrol (SSP) implemented a program to provide a safe, quick clearance of incidents that affect traffic, including disabled vehicles. This team can be seen throughout the major roadways assisting motorist and responding to incidents on our roadway. They help task as fuel water for overheating radiators to changing tires. There trucks are equipped with flashers and uniforms are reflective. http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/safetypatrol.asp

Virginia State Troopers

The month of June is now designated as “Move Over Awareness Month.” The recognition comes following Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 102 during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session. The declaration is intended to provide further support to Virginia’s public safety campaign aimed at increasing drivers’ awareness concerning the protection of public safety professionals and highway safety workers, to include safety service patrols on Virginia’s roads.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an in an accident caused by the negligence of another, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with a Norfolk personal injury attorney, please visit the website and fill out the convenient online form.

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