Teen Driver At Fault in Crash That Kills Two in Rockbridge

Posted on Jul 13, 2015

Every parent worries about the day their child will be old enough to drive. Parents fear that their child’s limited experience will cause them to make a mistake that could get them hurt, or worse—to ruin their lives by hurting someone else.

Although most teenagers think their parents are overreacting, juvenile driving mistakes and reckless decisions can cause horrendous collisions with catastrophic consequences. Unfortunately, an example of such an accident recently occurred at the intersection of US-501 and Virginia 130 near Glasgow.

According to a report in The Roanoke Times, a 2004 Subaru Outback driven by a Rockbridge County High School student made a left turn at the intersection into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. Three of the driver's classmates were passengers in the car. The driver and two of the passengers suffered minor injuries. The third passenger, 17-year-old Justin Ruley, was critically injured and died three days later. Ruley was a popular sophomore at Rockbridge and a football player. The school held a remembrance in his honor and signed a poster for his family.

The passenger in the pickup truck, 66-year-old Charles Higgins, died four days after the crash from injuries he sustained in the impact. The driver of the truck was not seriously injured. The two were on their way home from a horse show in Lexington.

The collision occurred at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Virginia State police have charged the driver—whose name has not been released due to his age—with failure to yield right-of-way.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to both Ruley’s and Higgins’ families.