While speed has long been the center of controversy for Shore Drive, drivers fear the three-car crash near First Landing State Park Thursday night may have been fueled by the lack of lighting on that stretch of road.
"They should have put lights down there a long time ago," said driver Joe Lawrence.
Beach police said a man driving a 1929 Ford Model A crashed into several trees in the median. They said the debris struck a car, which caused a truck behind it to slam into the back. Those two drivers are okay, but police said the driver of the antique Ford was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
"As dark as it is, he probably didn't have time to react," Lawrence said.
NewsChannel 3 reached out to Virginia Beach's traffic and engineering department about the lighting on Shore Drive. An engineer said "Lighting was seriously considered with the Shore Drive safety improvements in this area perhaps 15 or more years ago. It was determined that with there being no power in the area, it would be cost prohibitive to install streetlights. Primary power would have to be brought in including transformers etc.
The solution was to remove some trees, widen the pavement and install rumble strips. The crash rate dropped dramatically. This segment is currently rated in terms of crash rate at 217 of 236 with 1 being the worst. This crash rate factors in injuries and fatalities. There were no fatalities in the last three years."
Beach police said in the last 10 years, there have been 15 fatal accidents on Shore Drive.