One thing that ruffles many drivers is when a vehicle off to the side of the highway reenters the roadway without sufficiently accounting for the safety of others already traveling on the highway. That kind of problem caused a fatal accident in Tennessee on Interstate 640 near Knoxville recently. A car crash occurred when a Toyota car pulled onto the highway from the shoulder of the road.
Several vehicles reportedly had to change lanes quickly when the Toyota entered the highway. Additionally, one driver swerved and lost control of his vehicle. The SUV that he operated turned over several times on the highway. One 24-year-old female passenger was ejected and killed.
A 20-year-old woman and two infants were also ejected from the rolling vehicle, but they were hospitalized and apparently are still surviving. Two adults, including the 36-year-old male driver, were hospitalized and released. The condition of the two children and the adult are not yet known.
The use of seat belts and child seat restraints would have made a difference, according to police investigators. They reported that they believe that the driver was the only one using a seat belt. The children’s car seats were apparently not properly fastened to the SUV. Regardless of any failure to use seat belts, the victims may still make claims against the wrongdoer from a vehicular collision.
The wrongdoer here may be the driver of the Toyota who reentered from the shoulder of the roadway. In Tennessee as well as elsewhere, entering the highway without paying attention to the safety of the oncoming vehicles may be negligence. If that operator was substantially responsible for causing the SUV to lose control under the circumstances, then that mystery car driver is a legal cause of this accident.
Additionally, if the SUV driver was himself negligent in losing control and causing the car crash, then he could be responsible partially or totally to his passengers. Furthermore, these competing factual scenarios may raise the need for the victims to make claims under their own uninsured or underinsured motorists’ coverage. The matter is thus complex and with many avenues of inquiry, making it highly advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Source: wbir.com, “KPD identifies I-640 crash victims, looks for more witnesses”, Aug. 3, 2015