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| Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A couple from Pennsylvania died and a Chesterfield County, Virginia teenager suffered serious injuries in a multi-vehicle crash on I-295 in Henrico County on Oct. 2.


The Virginia State Police stated that the fatal accident happened at 2:45 PM on I-295 just south of the North Airport Drive exit in Henrico County. 

The police stated that the accident happened when a 2000 Jeep Cherokee that was going north slowed to merge with traffic to take the exit ramp. The Jeep was hit in the rear by a tractor-trailer. That impact caused the Jeep driver to lose control and cross into the left northbound lanes of I-295. It crashed into a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The impact of that second collision caused both SUVs to run off the road into the median and flip. The man and woman in the 2013 Jeep were killed at the scene. They have been named as 57-year-old Charles A. Decosmo and 56-year-old Linda M. Decosmo, both of Sheppton, Pennsylvania.

The driver of the 2000 Jeep was a 17-year-old boy and has been taken to a local hospital for serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The truck driver was not injured and has been charged with reckless driving. 

Our View

Our sympathies go out to the families of the couple from Pennsylvania who died in this terrible tractor-trailer and SUV crash. From the description of the accident, it appears that the tractor-trailer driver could be responsible for this fatal accident, especially because he has been charged with reckless driving.

This is particularly tragic because tractor-trailer drivers have a commercial driver’s license and should know how important it is to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front.

According to the Virginia CDL manual, tractor-trailer drivers require space in front of their rig in case they need to suddenly stop. In most crashes involving big rigs and large buses, the accident usually is because of a frontal collision. This usually means that the commercial driver was following too closely.

The CDL manual states that if the truck is going less than 40 MPH, you should maintain one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. If the speed is over 40 MPH, an extra second should be added to be extra safe. 

Sadly, it may be that the truck driver may not have maintained enough distance and caused a terrible crash that has ended two lives and seriously injured a teenager.

Given that two people died in this crash, it is possible the trucker could face additional charges. He and his trucking company could also be sued for wrongful death in civil court and potentially have to pay millions of dollars in damages. This tragedy is a potent reminder for all truck drivers to maintain a safe distance from traffic in front of them.


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