Archive for the 'Car Accidents' Category
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
(Photo credit: premasagar)
Four people were killed just after midnight on Father’s Day in a tragic incident that occurred east of Spinks Airport and northeast of Burleson in Tarrant County, Texas. Investigators say that alcohol was a factor in the fatal crash.
The sequence of events began with an SUV becoming stranded in the 1500 block of Burleson Retta Road at around midnight. A woman and her child, who were killed, were on the scene to give assistance. Forty-one-year-old Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, husband and father of three, who was also killed, stopped to help; he was returning home following a graduation party for his eldest son. There were numerous other people at the scene as well.
As a group was gathered to offer help, a truck approached, speeding along the two-lane road. The truck crashed into at least one of the cars parked by the roadway. Four people were killed and at least six others were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. One person remains in critical condition.
The scene was a difficult one to figure out, authorities said. It was pitch black, and there was a lot of wreckage at a compact accident scene which was lined with trees and drainage ditches on both sides. Firefighters searched for victims with flood lights. They found that four cars were involved in the crash which also involved numerous pedestrians.
Emergency workers from Fort Worth, Crowley, and Everman fire departments as well as CareFlite worked together.
In early reports, a spokesperson for MedStar Mobile Healthcare, Matt Zavadsky, said that nine people were taken to area hospitals; two were critically injured.
The crash was investigated as a crime scene, according to Terry Grisham, a spokesman for a sheriff’s office. He said that at the scene there was evidence that alcohol was involved.
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Toyota 4-Runner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Twenty-three-year-old Amanda Hoffman, a recent graduate of Texas A&M, is currently in a neurology critical care unit as she recovers from critical injuries sustained in a car accident late last month.
Hoffman was traveling with two other athletes on the Texas A&M Waterski team, Scott McCormick and Will Stevenson. They were driving east of Jackson, Mississippi, on their way to North Carolina for the Collegiate All Stars Water Ski tournament. It was about 6:00 a.m. when their vehicle, Amanda’s Toyota 4-Runner, veered off of Interstate 20 and rolled two and a half times.
Hoffman was ejected from the car. She had been asleep in the back seat and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
McCormick and Stevenson were both wearing seatbelts when the accident occurred. Both were transported to a nearby hospital and released the same day, though McCormick suffered fractured vertebrae in the crash.
Hoffman was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she remains. Sources say that a CT scan has revealed major brain damage, but she is responsive to stimulation and has stable vital signs.
There has been no indication of any charges to be filed in this case, and the cause has not been announced.
With an across-country road trip, it’s conceivable that fatigue may have played a part in causing this tragic crash. Fatigued driving is similar to intoxicated driving and is essentially as dangerous.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every year at least 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 injuries are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
Motorists are urged not to ignore the following signs of fatigue, all of which can cause loss of control of a vehicle:
- Feeling tired or sleepy.
- Tired or burning eyes.
- Driving over the centerline or off the road.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Example of dark circles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You don’t usually need to scan Texas news stories for long before you find incidents in which young people are involved in serious automobile accidents. Research has proven that between 8 p.m. and dawn in particular, teenaged drivers have an increased number of accidents. And now a new study has found that the amount of sleep a teenager has affects the risk of having an accident while night driving.
Parents are advised to take this new information to heart. Teenagers need a minimum of 8 ½ hours of sleep every night; any less than that can be categorized, in that age group, as sleep deprived.
Fatigued driving is a danger for motorists of all ages, but teenage drivers have proven to be more impaired than adults when operating under the same level of sleep deprivation. And according to researchers, the risk of a crash is increased even when sleep reduction is not drastic.
The habits of about 20,000 new drivers were tracked for two years. The study found that 10% of 17-year-olds slept 6 hours or less per night. The same was true of 17% of young people between the ages of 20 and 24 years old. This amount of sleep is seriously below the needed 8 ½ to 9 ¼ hours needed.
Not only did six hours per night of sleep increase the risk of getting into an auto accident, it also was associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors such as using illegal drugs and drinking alcohol.
Studies such as this one provide a good argument for restricted drivers’ licenses which permit new drivers to drive only during daytime hours. But most importantly, it shows that young people who drive automobiles should be required to get the full recommended night’s sleep before being allowed by their parents to drive at night.
Have you or has someone you know suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or deliberate actions? For legal assistance related to personal injury in Dallas, Fort Worth, Mesquite, De Soto, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, or anywhere else in Texas, contact Dallas personal injury attorney Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Hidalgo County, which is southwest of South Padre Island, Texas, a 25-year-old man is charged in the death of a 17-year-old girl. The man allegedly struck Maria Cecilia Lopez with the pickup truck he was driving as she was checking the mailbox for her family. According to police, the man has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
The accident occurred on FM 88 a bit north of Mile 12. According to witnesses, the driver veered off the road, causing the teen’s death. After striking her, the truck hit a utility pole and left the girl’s body behind on the street. A passenger in the truck was also injured; that person has been treated and released.
According to statistics published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Texas wasn’t the worst among the 50 states plus Washington D.C. for drunk driving in 2011; but it was close. Texas ranked number 47 out of 51 (with 51 being the worst). In 2011 in Texas:
- There were 124,662 three-time offenders.
- There were 18,271 five-time offenders.
- There were a total of 1,213 DUI-related fatalities.
- The percentage of total traffic deaths related to DUI was 40%.
- The percentage of change in DUI fatalities from 2010 to 2011 was -4.5%.
- There is a $5.7 billion state subsidy of drunken driving fatalities.
- The state legislature rejected lifesaving sobriety checkpoint legislation and interlock legislation.
The statistics also indicate that the number of people between the ages of 12 and 20 who used alcohol in the past month was 821,000. In the same age group, there were 547,000 people involved in binge alcohol use.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
(Photo credit: ChrisGoldNY)
On Sunday a fatal accident which took the lives of four young people occurred in Erath County, which is approximately 65 miles southwest of Fort Worth in North Texas. According to authorities, what triggered the head-on crash was when one of the vehicles involved crossed over the centerline into oncoming traffic.
Eighteen-year-old Courtney Kay Smalley of Lipan was traveling in a pink Volkswagen southbound on Highway 281 when she allegedly veered into the northbound lane, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Volkswagen struck a Mercedes which was being driven by Matthew Lee Keith, a 29-year-old from Searcy, Arkansas.
In the Volkswagen, Smalley was killed on impact along with passenger Kimberly G. Peacock of Fort Worth, a 19-year-old. In the Mercedes, Keith died on impact along with passenger Tsanti C. Keith, a 26-year-old.
Police are trying to determine why the Volkswagen drifted into opposing traffic; the accident is still under investigation.
As mentioned, the cause of this crash is unknown; but, based on accident statistics, it’s possible that driver distraction could have been a contributing cause. Anytime a driver’s attention is pulled away from the task of driving, he or she is engaging in distracted driving. Every kind of distraction endangers not only the driver and passengers but also bystanders and other motorists.
Common causes of distracted driving include:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Adjusting a radio or some other type of music player
- Using a navigational system
- Looking at maps
- Talking to passengers
Texting is the most invasive type of distraction because it requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention.
One moment of distraction while driving can be all it takes for a fatal crash to occur.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A near head-on collision which occurred last week in Tyler, Texas, sent five people to area hospitals. That crash began a chain reaction which involved two more vehicles at the intersection of Highway 31 East and County Road 24. According to investigators, the driver of a Tahoe caused the four-vehicle crash after failing to make a stop. Traffic had slowed to a stand-still as cars prepared to turn left onto County Road 24. The door of the oncoming car struck by the Tahoe was almost torn off, and the Tahoe flipped at least once. Distracted driving is one of the major causes of collisions such as this one, involving failure to stop.
Distracted driving is driving while engaging in another activity, which pulls attention away from operating the motor vehicle and watching the road. Driving while distracted increases the chances of getting into an automobile crash.
Statistics show that nine people or more are killed every day in the United States in a crash involving a distracted driver. The number of fatalities in 2011 which involved distracted driving was 3,331; and an additional 378,000 were injured. In 2010, there were 3,267 related fatalities along with 416,000 injuries.
There are three basic types of distraction:
- Visual, which involves looking somewhere other than the road;
- Manual, which is removing your hands from the steering wheel; and
- Cognitive, which is mentally focusing on something other than driving.
Activities associated with distracted driving include:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Texting (In June 2011 alone, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the United States, which was a 50% increase from two years prior)
- Using built-in vehicle technology, such as navigation systems
Inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 could be at an increased risk of driving distracted, since studies indicate that young people have the highest number of fatal crashes involving distracted driving.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fifty-year-old Claude Gross of Arlington, Texas, was killed in a car crash with a suspected drunk driver last week. The 28-year-old alleged drunk driver, who is from Grand Prairie, was arrested, taken to Arlington City Jail, and charged with intoxication manslaughter.
The 28-year-old was driving a 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis eastbound on Pioneer, and he struck Gross’s 2005 Chevy Trailblazer as the victim was traveling northbound on Watson, which is the State Highway 360 access road. Officers arrived on the scene at about 10 p.m.
Gross was transported to the Medical Center of Arlington, where the Tarrant County Medical Examiner pronounced him dead.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) leads in the campaign to stop fatalities caused by drunk drivers. According to their data:
- One person was killed in a drunk driving collision every 52 minutes in 2010, which amounted to 10,228 fatalities nationwide.
- MADD offers assistance to a survivor or victim of drunk driving every 10 minutes.
- Alcohol-related fatalities have decreased by more than 40% since MADD was founded in 1980.
- One person is injured in an alcohol-related collision every minute.
- The average drunk driver has had 87 occurrences of drunk driving, on average, before their first arrest.
- In Texas, Harris County has the most alcohol-related fatalities.
- In 2010, in Harris County alone, there were 182 fatalities involving drunk drivers.
- Nationwide, about 5,000 people under age 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this figure includes fatalities from automobile crashes, suicides, homicides, binge drinking, and injuries from falls, drowning, or burns.
Two helpful solutions to the problem of drunk driving have been identified by MADD. Sobriety checkpoints have been shown to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes by 18% to 24%. According to numerous studies, after ignition interlocks are installed, re-arrest rates for drunk driving decreased by 67%.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A 29-year-old Garland firefighter struggled for weeks to recover from a car accident which occurred in Rockwall, Texas, in December of last year. The spine of the husband and father of two was seriously injured, and a lengthy amount of time off from work was required for recovery, including time for therapy. The man’s 2-year-old child was in the vehicle when the accident occurred, but he wasn’t injured.
According to police reports, the firefighter was traveling west on Highway 66. The other driver involved was headed north on John King Boulevard. The other driver told officials that he proceeded onto the highway, believing the coast was clear. But when he advanced, he collided with the rear driver’s side, causing the accident victim’s car to flip into a ditch.
This is the type of case in which fault is determined in order to find who is responsible for such things as medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering.
There are various types of fault in an auto accident, including:
- Negligence, which indicates conduct that is careless and results in damage or harm. A driver who fails to yield the right-of-way, for example, can be found guilty of negligence.
- Recklessness involves a willful disregard of situations which could cause damage or harm.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is intentional misconduct.
Determining who is at fault in an accident usually involves gathering witness statements, consulting medical and police reports, analyzing damage, checking cell phone records, and giving consideration to weather and road conditions.
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
VW Vento/Jetta III (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two cars were involved in a fatal crash which took place in Dallas, Texas, Monday on the 2200 block of Buckner Boulevard. The violent accident which occurred at about 5:00 a.m. covered an entire block with debris. Tisha Weeks was the person killed in the crash; and on the day of the collision, she was due to have her 30th birthday in three days.
The driver of a BMW was traveling southbound on Buckner Boulevard and rear-ended a Volkswagen Jetta, according to police. Weeks, the driver of the Jetta, was slowly pulling out of a Shell gas station when the crash occurred.
A female passenger in the Jetta was transported to an area hospital. The passenger’s condition was not made available.
The BMW driver was also transported and admitted to a hospital; his condition is unknown. Police said that he may be charged with intoxication manslaughter.
There was also a passenger in the BMW, who was treated and released by emergency personnel at the scene.
In rear-end accidents, the person who does the rear-ending is almost always the person at fault, though there are rare exceptions. In fact, the damage which results from this type of accident can give a pretty clear indication of who is at fault. As a general rule, if both vehicles sustain damage, the person to the rear is at fault.
One of the basic procedures for safe driving is to ensure that there is plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
There are occasions when the driver who rear-ends another vehicle may not be fault, including that the other car does not have tail lights or brake lights that work. Another is if a car is stopped on the road with mechanical problems because the duty is to move off of lanes of traffic in that situation.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
USDA Market News – Texas border crossings (Photo credit: USDAgov)
One of the most dangerous types of scenarios which occurs on Texas roads involves vehicles carrying immigrants and fleeing from law enforcement officials at or near the border of Mexico. Several such accidents have been huge news stories in Texas, and the most recent occurred today in Kingsville, Texas, at the Naval Air Station; Kingsville is approximately 40 miles southwest of Corpus Christi. Six people were killed and nine were injured when the police pursuit ended.
A 1996 GMC Sierra pickup truck was packed with 15 people who are believed to be undocumented immigrants. The truck sped through a gate guard without stopping at the Naval Air Station. Pop-up barriers were then activated not far beyond the gate, and the truck crashed head-on into the barriers. The victims have not been identified yet, but they are believed to be from the Honduras. The nine who were injured are listed in critical condition.
There were two accidents involving undocumented immigrants from Mexico in April of last year. Four illegal immigrants were injured after the truck they were in rolled over several times in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. And in Palmview, Texas, nine illegal immigrants were killed after a minivan that was transporting 19 people and fleeing police rolled over.
In July 2012, 14 people died in South Texas when a pickup truck carrying 23 illegal immigrants veered off the road and crashed into trees.
Smugglers usually overload vehicles with their human cargo so that they make a bigger profit, which means more lives are endangered when crashes occur.