Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Fort Campbell soldier in custody as car crash kills 1, injures 1

Rear end collisions are well known for causing whiplash type injuries, which are often quite disabling. However, a rear-end car crash can sometimes also cause death. An example in Tennessee occurred on Nov. 14, at about 2:45 a.m., when a 26-year-old soldier from Fort Campbell rear-ended a car with his pickup, killing one person and seriously injuring another.

The accident happened on the eastbound portion of the 101st Airborne Division Parkway. The car was operated by a 28-year-old man from Clarksville when it was struck from behind by a 2014 GMC Sierra truck. It appears that the car was stopped at an intersection when it was hit. The female passenger in the car died at the scene, and the driver was hospitalized with serious injuries. 

Photos show an exceptionally violent collision, with car's rear end being collapsed and mangled like a pile of rubble. This indicates speeding by the offending pickup. Indeed, police reported that the pickup went up and over the car and pushed it through the intersection. Additionally, police indicate that alcohol was involved. They charged the pickup driver with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

Assuming that the facts are as reported, the pickup driver is responsible for financial compensation to the estate of the deceased woman and to the seriously injured driver of the car. Whether or not guilty of criminal charges, it is highly likely that he was driving negligently, which requires a lower standard of proof. In fact, under the circumstances reported, this claim could possibly justify a claim for punitive damages due to the driver's apparent recklessness.

Tennessee law demands compensation from the driver who negligently caused the car crash and the injuries and/or death. The recovery, however, often depends on how much liability insurance the tortfeasor had on his vehicle. Where that amount is insufficient, victims must look to coverage for underinsured motorists on their own auto insurance policies. It is recommended that the a personal injury attorney be consulted immediately so that the full amount of available coverage can be identified and pursued.

Source: clarksvilleonline.com, "Clarksville Police update on Fatal Crash on 101st Airborne Division Parkway", Nov. 14, 2015

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