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Norfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton, Virginia

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Randy Appleton
Randy Appleton
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WV Man Sentenced for Drowsy Driving Fatality

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A man in West Virginia who was responsible for a deadly March 2017 crash on Route 15 in West Virginia was sentenced this month to a year in state prison. 

The 22 year old man was found guilty of one count of reckless driving. He has been ordered to serve the year at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

deadly-accident

On March 22 last year, the man was driving south on Route 15 when his car crossed the couble yellow line and hit a Suburu head on, killing the driver instantly. The driver stayed at the accident scene. He spoke with the sheriff deputy at the scene and said that he fell asleep for a second before the crash, according to the state prosecutor.

The subsequent investigation showed that the man was not intoxicated and was not using his cell phone when the fatal crash occurred. However, he stated that he had not been getting enough sleep due to work. But even though he knew he was exhausted, he still drove.

The victim was a 29 year old man who worked in the IT field and was married five months earlier. Seven witnesses testified on behalf of the prosecution and spoke about how the tragedy had affected them.

The sentence also included a $2500 fine, supervised probation for 12 months, and a requirement to speak in the county’s Victim Impact Panel every month for a year after he is released from jail.

Our View

Our Virginia personal injury attorneys want to remind all drivers that drowsy driving, while not as well publicized as drunk driving, still is very dangerous. It is estimated that one in 25 adults have fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month. The NHTSA states drowsy driving caused 72,000 crashes and 800 deaths in 2013. But those numbers may be underestimated, and as many 6,000 fatal accidents could be caused by fatigued drivers annually.

Our personal injury attorneys represented clients whose lives were changed forever by a fatigued driver. They were rear ended by a tired truck driver, and their children in the rear seats suffered head injuries. One had a concussion and was able to recover, but the other one suffered serious head trauma that led to life changing injuries. We settled this case for $5.5 million but the child will never be the same. All drivers should ensure they are well rested before they drive. Public safety is more important than anything else.