A 12-year-old boy from Fredericksburg, Virginia (VA), sustained life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a car while using a crosswalk to get across a bridge over U.S. 64 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The exact nature of the injuries were not reported but head trauma is likely and the boy was quickly transported from a hospital near the Nags Head location of the crash to a higher-level health care facility in Norfolk.
Police determined that neither excessive speed nor impairment by drugs or alcohol led to this collision, but they did issue the at-fault driver citations for failing to yield right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk and for not slowing down to avoid an accident.
The crash near the North Carolina oceanfront occurred on the evening of August 21, 2014, the same day that news surfaced of high-priority efforts being undertaken to protect pedestrians in the resort area of Virginia Beach. The tragic coincidence strikes particularly close to home, as my Virginia and Carolina personal injury law firm colleagues and I have helped many victims of crosswalk crashes within sight of the ocean.
Drivers always have to watch for people in crosswalks and at intersections. This duty only increases in areas where people can be expected to be crossing the street, such as near tourist attractions. While pedestrians do have obligations to keep themselves safe, they have no protections against individuals in vehicles who ignore traffic signals, disregard right of way rules, speed or drive while intoxicated.