Source: Rachel Weiner, www.washingtonpost.com
At around 12:40 a.m., Sunday, a BMW crashed into a Harley-Davidson on Ashburn Farm Parkway in Loudoun County, while turning into a shopping center. Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle, a male and female from Ashburn, died at a local hospital, police said. The BMW driver, 52-year-old Mark Sgarlata of Ashburn, was not injured. He has been charged with DUI and was being held without bond.
About two hours later, a vehicle driven by Devin Austin, 21, of Triangle, crashed into a concrete underpass barrier beneath a railroad bridge on Van Dorn Street near Vine Street in Fairfax County, police said. He and Aminata Sesay, 23, of Alexandria were pronounced dead at the scene. A third passenger was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Speed may have been a factor in the 3 a.m. crash, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
In cases where a passenger is injured due to the negligence of a driver, the passenger may have a claim against the driver for simple negligence. Even if the driver is deceased, his or her insurance may still have to pay. It wasn’t always this way in Virginia. A previous law said the driver had to be guilty of “gross negligence” for the passenger to have a possible claim for injury.