A Norfolk school teacher was hit and killed by a car while crossing Shore Drive recently. Back in October of 2009, a 21-year-old man was also hit and killed by a car as he tried to cross Shore Drive. Two bicyclists were killed after being hit by cars last summer, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
Are all of these tragic accidents coincidental or is time to declare Shore Drive a dangerous stretch of road in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA)? I think the latter is more appropriate.
The Pilot wrote an article about the terrible pedestrian crossing accident involving the Norfolk school teacher, and one of the comments posted by a VA resident highlighted some of the issues with Shore Drive:
“…people walk across Shore Dr at that spot all the time, because there are two bars directly across the street from each other. It’s also a dark stretch of Shore Dr and the road bends slightly. They need to install better lighting, a slower speed limit, and possibly a crosswalk as the nearest one is kinda far away.”
To the city’s credit, they’ve taken some action. Last year, the speed limit was lowered from 45 to 35 mph on Shore Drive between First Landing State Park and North Great Neck Road. Should the speed limit be reduced even further, maybe to 25mph? It’s an idea to explore.
The proposal to add better lighting to Shore Drive needs to be looked into. The lack of adequate lighting is a concern for many VA drivers. For example, another comment posted on the Pilot article said, “Add more or brighter street lights from Great Neck Rd. to the Lesner Bridge. I drive up and down Shore drive nightly and I have nearly hit two people attempting to cross the road in that area.”
Our firm has handled pedestrian crossing accidents and the injuries sustained by the victims are usually very serious. For example, we represented a Norfolk public school teacher who was crossing a two lane road near an intersection with a Norfolk highway when they were hit by a 2005 Dodge Magnum. Our client was taken to a local emergency room with complaints of cuts to both arms, left foot and left knee pain. He was eventually diagnosed with a distal fibula fracture before he saw an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon eventually diagnosed a left calcaneal fracture. Corrective surgery was done to his ankle and then our client underwent substantial physical therapy and was forced to wear an orthopedic boot after his surgery. He racked up close to $40,000 in medical bills. Fortunately, we were able to obtain a $100,000 settlement to help him handle those expenses (to learn more about the crosswalk accident settlement, check out the case result here).
But our client was lucky – he didn’t die in his crossing accident, unlike the recent tragic incident on Shore Drive. I hope Virginia Beach officials take a long look at making changes to the lighting and speed limit on Shore Drive. Four deaths in about two years on the same road is four deaths too many.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.