Another fatal accident has been caused by a vehicle operator who lost control, crossed the center line of a highway and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the car crash occurred on the Newport Highway near the Cocke County Line when the driver of a minivan going north on the highway went across the center line and crashed into a passenger sedan that was heading south. The driver of the minivan and her passenger, both from Greeneville, were killed in the car crash.
The driver of the sedan was air lifted to the Johnson City Medical Center with undetermined injuries. The Tennessee Highway Patrol reconstruction team was on the scene, and the THP investigation reportedly is continuing. Authorities did order toxicology reports, although impairment by drugs or alcohol is not suspected at this time.
The minivan carrying the two deceased individuals was an unrecognizable tangled ball of steel, according to published photos of the scene. The cause of a driver's loss of control under these circumstances, if not related to chemical impairment, is more often than not related to falling asleep or some other major distraction at the wheel. With both occupants deceased, it will be difficult for the authorities to confirm the actual cause, but there may clues that can be obtained from family members or friends of the decedents.
In any event, the injured driver of the sedan may assert a personal injury claim against the estate of the deceased operator of the minivan for damages suffered in the car crash. Tennessee law also allows the deceased passenger in the minivan to collect against his deceased driver's estate. Even if the passenger was a spouse of the driver, modern tort laws and insurance policies permit the collection of inter-spousal claims where one spouse has negligently caused the death of the other.
Source: greenvillesun.com, "UPDATED: Victims Identified In Fatal Newport Highway Crash", June 10, 2015