Truck driver charged with reckless driving after traffic accident ends in death

March 13, 2015-  New Kent, Va.

Jennifer P. Wilson, 43, of Richmond was killed Wednesday morning in a traffic accident near the Emmaus Church Road exit at mile maker 211. Ms. Wilson died on the scene after her vehicle was pushed into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer.

NBC12 reports that at the time of the crash, traffic was slowing down due to a disabled vehicle. While slowing down, tractor-trailer driver Ira Vestal struck a pickup truck, which caused a chain reaction of collisions ending with Ms. Wilson’s vehicle being pushed in the path of another oncoming tractor-trailer. Mr. Vestal has been charged with reckless driving as a result of the crash.

Police are asking that anyone who witnessed the crash contact Trooper M.D. Jester at 804-553-3445.

While Mr. Vestal was driving a work vehicle at the time of the accident, it is unlikely that he would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of injury.

In Virginia, workers’ compensation benefits are not awarded for injuries or death caused by:

An employee’s willful misconduct or intentional self-inflicted injury;

An employee’s attempt to injure another; an employee’s intoxication;

An employee’s willful failure to use a safety appliance or perform a duty required by statute;

An employee’s willful breach of a reasonably rule or regulation adopted by the employer and brought, prior to the accident, to the employee’s attention;

Or an employee’s use of illegal drugs.

Therefore, if the cause of an employee’s injury is the commission of a crime, a claim for workers’ compensation system will almost certainly be denied.

The burden to prove any of the above exceptions falls on the employer. If you or a loved one was injured on the job and facing one or more of the exceptions above, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at ReidGoodwin to schedule a free legal consultation.