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Safety of N. Military Hwy intersection: Police investigate two fatal crashes within 6 months

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Posted at 11:11 AM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 12:03:48-04

NORFOLK, Va. – News 3 is looking into the safety of an intersection on North Military Highway where at least two fatal pedestrian crashes have occurred in the last six months.

The latest happened Sunday, May 15 at about 9 p.m. in the 500 block of N. Military Highway. It's near Poplar Hall Drive. Police say a vehicle hit a woman, identified as 58-year-old Norfolk woman Sharon D. Shields, and that she died at the scene.

The driver involved remained at the scene, according to officers who are still investigating the accident. Speed and alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash.

Another person was killed at the same intersection on November 23, 2021. Police say Howard E. Covert, 70, of Norfolk, died at the hospital from his injuries.

Investigators said that speed did not appear to be a contributing factor. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles records, the cause of the crash was alcohol-related.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has recently sought input from the public. It just wrapped up a survey to address safety conditions in the area.

According to VDOT, community input received through the survey will help the study team further develop and refine potential improvements focused on targeting known needs, reducing community impacts, and addressing all transportation modes in a cost-effective manner. The potential improvements presented are only preliminary and are not scheduled or funded as a construction project at this time.

This corridor has a high number of rear-end crashes related to congestion and a high number of angle crashes at intersections related to drivers entering/exiting driveways, VDOT states on its website. Three bicyclists and nine pedestrians were struck by vehicles between 2015 and 2019, three of whom were killed. Two Hampton Roads Transit bus routes serve the Military Highway corridor, and the Military Highway Tide light rail station is nearby.

The objective of this study is to identify cost-effective preferred improvement alternatives that address deficient conditions and prioritize safety for vulnerable users.

The survey has closed but you can find out more information here.