The Verdict - The Lombardi Law Firm Blog
Here at the Lombardi Law Firm we add blog content that is personal to those involved in accidents. We write this way so you have an understanding of how we think and handle cases - your case. We invite you to call us if you think we can help you resolve your legal problems. We settle most of our cases, because we do the basic legal work necessary to understand the facts of your case. We offer on our website, relevant and concise information that you will be helpful to you as you get ready to settle or to try your case.
We can and will do the same for you. That's my promise. So call us today!
Steve Lombardi, 515-222-1110 or email@example.com
Wednesday, September 30th, about noon, Edward R. Stevens, age 76, was driving down a country road south of Ohio 103, in Bloomville, when Stevens was hit by a westbound Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway train, according to Bucyrus Telegraph Forum news source. It was reported that at this crossing on Schwemley Road, there is no warning signal or gates. One of Steven’s neighbors, Donald Rayoum, said, “When you are driving north and the corn is grown up like it is now, you cannot see if a train is coming.” Steven was driving a 1991 Ford pick-up and was not wearing a seatbelt. Investigation is still underway.
Of course in Iowa we know the corn is there, but then again so does the train's engineer. How about that horn to signal the train's approach to the intersection?
According to the Iowa State Patrol accident report, on September 17, 2009 in Muscatine County, Rhonda Levsen driving Northbound on Zachary Ave failed to stop at the 171st St. intersection. Levsen’s Chevy Impala landed in the north ditch. This 49-year-old Montpelier resident was not wearing a seatbelt and was taken to the Ames Hospital and the investigation is still under way on the accident. The accident occurred at 10:28pm and the road was reported as unlit and dark.
I'm not familiar at all with Muscatine County, but it's not unusual for country gravel roads to be unlit. Getting used to them is just a part of living in rural Iowa. See our blogs below.
- Passing on the shoulder in rural Iowa requires reducing one's ... Jul 28, 2009 ... Passing on the shoulder in rural Iowa requires reducing one's speed. Email Member · Steve Lombardi. Attorney (866) 735-1102 Ext 335 ...
- Rural Newton, Jasper County Intersection Collision - Motorcycle ... At a rural intersection on Highway F17 just west of Baxter, Iowa a Newton man ... There is an intersection on Hickman Road in Clive where the City installed a camera ... The Lombardi Law Firm (866) 735-1102 Ext 335 www.lombardilaw.com/ ...
- Rural Iowa driveway ditch crossings can be very dangerous ... Posted by Steve LombardiJune 12, 2009 10:40 PM ... while somewhat humorous, gets across some very serious points about rural roads and driver safety. ...
- Driving on Iowa's gravel roads requires a certain skill set ... Driving on Iowa's gravel roads requires a certain skill set. Email Member · Steve Lombardi. Attorney (866) 735-1102 Ext 335 ...
- Iowa Crash in Rural Mahaska County | InjuryBoard Des Moines On the Road. Automobile Accidents · Mass Transit (Airline, Cruise Ship, Train, Bus) ... Iowa Crash in Rural Mahaska County. Email Member · Steve Lombardi ...
- Multi-car-truck collision in rural Iowa kills two - One vehicle 3 ... Lexington Road is a diagonal in a northwest to southeast direction. The aerial map from Mapquest shows this to be a rural area between West Chester and ...
- Farm Equipment Accidents - Road travel by teens | InjuryBoard Des ... Always watch for farm vehicles on rural roads, especially at planting and harvest. ... The Lombardi Law Firm (866) 735-1102 Ext 335 www.lombardilaw.com/ ...
- Two motorcycle riders, not wearing helmets collide and are injured ... Posted by Steve LombardiMay 18, 2008 12:29 AM. Tags: None ... but not wearing a helmet while riding on a rural road can be risky business. ...
- What causes washboarding on Iowa's farm to market roads ... On August 14th 2009 Terry Hagen was headed eastbound on a gravel road when he lost control ... Posted by Steve LombardiSeptember 02, 2009 2:20 PM ... Gravel roadways in rural Iowa present much different challenges than do paved roads. ...
- The Interstate Highway Graveyard, "Speed Kills" | InjuryBoard Des ... Aug 28, 2009 ... Posted by Steve LombardiAugust 28, 2009 10:31 AM ... 3.2% over the ten-year period, while rural road deaths increased by an alarming 9.1%. ...
On Monday, September 22, about 5:45pm, Catherine Lea Stinson, age 45, was hit by an Amtrak train at 145th Street and U.S. 34, according to John Mangalonzo reporter from The Hawkeye online news source. Witnesses said she drove around crossing gates which were down. The train was westbound and hit the passenger side dragging the vehicle half of a mile. Danville emergency crew tried to remove the New London woman from her 2008 Dodge Ram, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Recent train collisions have brought this kind of accident to the fore front. Hawkeye news said:
“Authorities noted that nearly half of all collisions at railroad crossings occur when automatic warning devices, such as flashing lights or flashing lights with gates, are present and functioning properly.
According to recent statistics, a railroad accident occurs every two hours in the United States, in which a pedestrian or vehicle is struck by a train. In 2007, there were 13,067 railroad related accidents, according to the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis.”
The message of safety here is to not ignore the warnings. They aren't there just to be inconvenient for you. There are there to be obeyed. And if you’re using a cell phone put it down while you stop, look and listen. A distracted driver is more likely to be a dead one.
On August 25th 2009 66 year old William Mudd of Hamilton Illinois was hit and killed by a freight train near the Keokuk Yacht club. The Keokuk Police Department says that the accident happened at around 4 o’clock but is unsure of the circumstances surrounding the accident. The train, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe, was carrying a black box and officials will be able to determine how fast the train was going at the time of the accident. The investigation remains open and ongoing.
On August 25th 2009 66 year old William Mudd of Hamilton Illinois was hit and killed by a freight train near the Keokuk Yacht club. The Keokuk Police Department says that the accident happened at around 4 o’clock but are unsure of the circumstances surrounding the accident. The train, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe, was carrying a black box and officials will be able to determine how fast the train was going at the time of the accident. The investigation remains open and ongoing.
On August 30, 2009 a hit-and-run occurred killing bicyclist, Mark Grgurich age 54. Hit by a white truck on Warren County Road G14, according to the Des Moines Register.
The white 1986 Chevrolet pickup was discovered to belong to Paul “Jud” McKinney, through investigating surveillance photographs, according to the Des Moines Register. The 79 year old McKinney will go to court on September 22, 2009 to face the following charges:
If convicted of all charges he could face seven years in prison.
An underlying cause for McKinney hitting the bicyclist is a vision problem called macular degeneration which causes a decline in vision especially in the central visual area, vital for driving. According to the Des Moines Register, “McKinney's sister, Elsie Manning, told The Des Moines Register that her brother has macular degeneration, a condition usually found in older adults that results in a loss of vision, especially central vision.” Though, “a Warren County sheriff's investigator said he was unaware that McKinney had macular degeneration and did not know if it figured in any way in the fatal crash.” McKinney was to renew his license in October, having to renew it every two years due to his eye condition. Scott Falb, a DOT driving specialist said, “in Iowa, drivers may be issued a four-year license until the age of 70, but after that the state ‘wants them to come in every two years to appraise their condition as a driver’." Even though McKinney had macular degeneration, because of his age he still had to go in every two years to be evaluated.
According to the Des Moines Register:
“In Iowa in 2008, 15- to 24-year-old drivers had a rate of 3.28 fatal crashes per 10,000 licensed drivers. That dropped to 2.54 in the middle years and then headed up again as drivers reached their 70s, Falb said. At age 85 the rate reached 3.56 fatal crashes per 10,000 licensed drivers.”
From this current issue debate is rising on whether there should be stricter rules applied to older drivers. A news article from channel 13, WHO, discusses this question in regards to other cases besides McKinney. One such case is Margaret Winter who is in her 80’s and uses a walker to get around, but also feels she should be able to drive her car. She went in to renew her license and the DOT required her to take a test, which she failed at least twice. Winter feels it’s unfair and wrong that she cannot have her license since she has been driving for 55 years. Watch a clip from this issue on Ms. Winter.
What do you think is too old and how this impacts our roads we all use in some way or the other?
We’ve been covering wrong-way collisions for the month of July and have continued to update during the month of August in 2009. This is the second update since writing the wrong-way series that started on August 3, 2009. You can read the complete list of wrong-way collisions in the recap posted on August 15, 2009.
Wrong-Way Accidents - Complete Recap of All July 2009 Collisions, August 15, 2009
Twenty-Six More Wrong-Way Interstate Highway Drivers, August 18, 2009
Analyzing July 2009 Wrong-way High Speed Collisions in America, August 3, 2009
Wrong-way drivers on I-80 Interstate are a problem, June 3, 2009
Here is the update for wrong-way collisions for this series with Devon Glass and Dave Mittleman from Michigan and Wayne Parsons from Hawaii Injuryboard. Wayne, I’m wondering aloud if you see many wrong-way driver collisions on any of your three highways? And Devon, what are you seeing in the Michigan area on the Interstate highway system? I’d like to hear what if anything Mike Bryant is seeing in that maze of Interstate highways around the Twin Cities of Minnesota. And maybe we can get an Al Franken report. In fact before we get too serious, these wrong-ways tend to be extremely deadly, let’s start out with that YouTube video of the talking fish from the Franken-Coleman Senate race. I love that talking fish ad. It’s gotta be a classic. Sorry Norm (we attended college together at the University of Iowa) but this is way too funny to leave alone.
Now back to the serious stuff about wrong-way drivers. We’ve had a wrong-way collision not more than ½ a mile from my house on I-35 southbound. It’s at the end.
Detroit, Michigan – August 28, 2009 wrong-way collision on Lodge Freeway. A 31-year-old man died after he drove the wrong-way. Accident occurred at around 12:45 a.m., driving southbound. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor.
Haltom City, Texas – August 28, 2009 – State Highway 121 wrong-way driver collided head-on with a semi-truck and was killed. This man was heading north in the southbound lanes around 2 a.m. This driver safety stopped in the emergency lane, but when police approached he took off, again the wrong-way colliding with the semi-truck. Additional details were provided by the Star-Telegram. The wrong-way driver was 53-years of age. A map and video are available with WFAA Latest News.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania – August 27, 2009 - No deaths in this southbound wrong-way driver in the northbound lanes of traffic in the HOV lane of Parkway North near the McKnight Road ramp. There was personal injury and OWI charges were pending against the wrong-way driver.
Allentown, Pennsylvania – August 27, 2009 – This wrong-way collision occurred around 3:30 A.M. at 8th and Linden Streets when the driver turned and drove the wrong way on Linden Street. One man was killed and another seriously injured.
St. Louis, Missouri – August 26, 2009 – In this wrong-way collision three died and one was injured on Illinois 255, about 11/2 miles north of I-270. The wrong-way driver is reported to be a 46-year-old man driving with a revoked license with multiple arrests and six convictions on alcohol related offenses. He lived, but the driver and a passenger in the other car were killed. Emergency calls shortly before this collision reported a wrong-way driver heading south in the northbound lanes of I-255 and then another call came in reporting a car heading north in the southbound lanes. Confused or drunk driver, you be the judge.
Detroit, Michigan – August 28, 2009 – A 28-year-old man was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of M-10 near Larned. The driver died and a passenger in the wrong-way vehicle was taken to the hospital and listed in fair condition. Alcohol was reported to be a factor, according to reports of what the police said.
Maderia, Ohio - August 28, 2009 – This wrong-way collision occurred on I-71 involved a 27-year-old driver and two passengers, one 18 and the other 24. Drugs and alcohol are believed to have been a factor.
Maderia, Ohio – August 2009 – In this second wrong-way crash in a two-day period a 64-year old man died after driving head-on into the wrong-way driver. The driver of the wrong-way car was a 33-year-old man. The crash involved a third car driven by an 18-year-old who was not injured. This one occurred on I-275 just before 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
Milford, Oakland County, Michigan – August 26, 2009 – Police report this collision was caused by intentionally driving the wrong-way by a young girl (16-year-old) who was depressed over her father’s death in November. She took her mother’s SUV and drove the wrong-way in the westbound lanes of I-96 near Lansing. She drove head-on into a semi-truck at around 9:25 p.m. She left a note saying she was tired of being depressed and wanted to see her father.
Birch Run, Michigan – August 26, 2009 – I-75 was the scene of this wrong-way driver that involved a man intentionally driving the wrong-way while police chased him in a stolen vehicle. The driver was 22-years of age.
Allentown, Pennsylvania – August 26, 2009 – This wrong-way collision happened in downtown Allentown at 3 a.m. Not much detail was given in this report although it appears to be a one-car crash with the driver dying and the passenger critically injured. They crashed into several fixed objects including a parking garage and a restaurant.
Boston, Massachusetts – August 23, 2009 – The 42-year-old wrong-way driver was being chased by police when he intentionally drove the wrong-way on state highway 24 and I-495. No one was hurt although the chase went on for nearly a half-hour.
Landrum, South Carolina – August 22, 2009 – The 33-year-old wrong-way female driver collided head-on with another vehicle. The collision caused one death, one person was seriously injured and the wrong-way driver was charged with “two counts of felony driving under the influence of alcohol -- one count involving great bodily injury and one county involving death.” The driver was heading westbound on I-26 near mile marker 2 near Landrum around 5:20 a.m. A front seat passenger was reported to have died.
Edmonton, Canada – August 22, 2009 – A wrong-way driver heading south in the northbound lanes of Wayne Gretzky Drive was operated by a 49-year-old woman reported to be impaired by alcohol.
Hickory, North Carolina – August 18, 2009 – The report is of an elderly couple (driver was 75) driving the wrong-way (northbound in the southbound lanes) on U.S. 321 just before 2:00 p.m. They drove head0n into a pickup truck killing the elderly driver and severely injuring his wife, a passenger.
New Orleans, Louisiana – August 19, 2009 – It seems no state is immune to wrong-way driving, well maybe North and South Dakota. In this wrong-way collision in the eastbound lanes of I-12 a young female driver drove head-on into an 18-wheeler killing her. She drove the wrong-way for at least 6 miles. Police suspect alcohol was involved. The driver was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.
West Des Moines, Iowa – I-35 northbound in the southbound lanes of traffic. The wrong-way driver was not killed but the driver of the car struck head-on was killed. The explanation for this collision is that the wrong-way driver was suffering from a diabetic condition and became confused, entered the wrong-way on Highway 5 and continued all the way off 5 and onto I-35 heading north in the southbound lanes.
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Interstate Highways and Wrong-way Collisions, the Carnage Continued...
One last point to be made is that people have it all wrong when it comes to saving money. The notion there are too many lawsuits makes about as much sense as there are too many doctors treating cancer patients. There aren't too many cancer treatments, there is too much cancer. And the same goes for the disease of distracted or drunk driving; there aren't too many lawsuits, there are as many lawsuits as there are drunk and distracted driver accidents. The fact is there are fewer lawsuits than accidents. The correct question is why are there so many accidents; not lawsuits. Take away only the number of lawsuits and you encourage more drunken and distracted drivers to plow into you. If you want to reduce the number of lawsuits stop driving drunk or distracted. It's that simple.
Here is the series so far on Interstate Highway crashes and how to avoid them:
Are Double-Bottomed Semis More or Less Dangerous to You? - Devon Glass from Church Wyble, P.C. (Michigan), August 26, 2009
Who wins and loses when a Ford Focus and a fully-loaded semi-truck crash? - Steve Lombardi from The Lombardi Law Firm (Iowa), August 25, 2009
Hawaii Freeway Chronicles #1: What Are The Danger Points On H-1, H-2 and H-3?, by Wayne Parsons of Wayne Parsons Law Offices. (Hawaii), August 27, 2009
The Interstate Highway Graveyard, “Speed Kills”, Lombardi, August 28, 2009
Why Speeders on the Highway Cause More Serious Accidents, Glass, August 28, 2009
Death and Injury On Interstate Highways Increase With Higher Speed Limits, Wayne Parsons, August 29, 2009 2:31 AM
On August 26th 2009 a crash between a semi and a car occurred in the southbound lanes of I-35 between the University and Westown Parkway ramps. The police said that a passenger vehicle was stalled on the travel portion of I-35 when it was rear ended by the semi. The passenger vehicle driver was injured and taken to the hospital. The real question is why did the wreck happen? Was the semi driver paying attention? Did the passenger vehicle have his/her emergency blinkers on? Cars break down on the interstate all the time will you be watching for them?
Or will you be on a cell phone talking or texting?
In the past two days I've encounted no fewer than 10 drivers weaving, pulling out when they should yield, stopping when they should drive ahead, slowing for no apparent reason and in each case they were on cell phones either talking or texting.
Since last reporting there have been 26 additional news reports picked up for wrong-way collisions across America and one from jolly-old England. Drunken drivers continue to be the main cause although old-age confusion, diabetic confusion, youthful inexperience and criminal behavior are repeated causes as well.
Since my last report in the twenty-part series here on the InjuryBoard I’ve wondered how many of the elderly wrong-way drivers suffer from prescription drug confusion or the affects of taking multiple prescriptions. That should be something the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies. My understanding of these collisions is they occur more in the northbound lanes on the interstate highway system. It could be because we are mostly right-handed type thinkers reading left to right rather than right to left. Is there a connection? I have no idea but it’s something that should be examined.
Dallas, Texas – Friday, July 31, 2009 – This wrong-way collision occurred on I-20 westbound lanes along the divided highway near Polk Street in the Red Bird area about 12:30 a.m. Alcohol may have been a factor. The entry point was not determined. Three people reported to have been killed.
Chicago, Illinois – About 1:35 a.m. on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) south of downtown, northbound lanes, wrong-way driver was heading south near Halsted Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood driving a 2003 Audi striking a 1993 Toyota head-on. A 38-year-old female passenger in the Toyota died.
Brownsville, Texas – Highway 71, 10 people injured. Northbound lanes, southbound wrong-way driver.
Providence, Rhode Island – August 3, 2009 – A 50-year-old man driving the wrong-way on I-95 early Sunday morning caused three crashes and the police allege alcohol was a cause. Two people were hospitalized. A video from Channel 12-WPRI Eyewitness News is available by following the link.
Seville, England – August 16, 2009 – A wrong-way collision on the A-4 near Seville killed one man. He tried to cross over the center lane and was struck by a semi-trailer and was himself killed.
Queen Creek, Arizona – August 15, 2009 – A 53-year-old man driving on the wrong-side of the street is reported to have struck a bicyclist at around 2:00 a.m. on Ocotillo Road near 228th Street. Driver of the at-fault vehicle was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor.
Toledo, Ohio - August 14, 2009 – A wrong-way collision on I-280 at 5:00 a.m. starting at Greenbelt Parkway, going south in the northbound lanes after crossing over the Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge near St. Rt. 795. In this instance a diabetic condition is said to have caused confusion or a condition similar to alcohol intoxication for the 64-year-old driver that was not killed. Non life-threatening conditions were sustained. There is a video you can watch from ABC Channel 13, Toledo, Ohio. She drove for miles. The advice Ohio State Troopers are given is to drive in the right lane as they approach the crest of a hill.
Greenville County, S.C. – August 14, 2009 – An 88-year-old driving a Ford Ranger north on I-385 south struck a Chevy Tahoe head-on; no one was killed.
Marlborough, Massachusetts – August 13, 2009 – A police chase after a man driving a stolen truck drove the wrong-way on I-495. The man was 38-years of age
Stratford, South Carolina – In this wrong-way collision a 20-year-old South Carolina man drove the wrong-way on I-95 and reportedly narrowly missed a head-on collision with a semi-truck. Alcohol is believed to have been involved. Several 911 calls reported a driver going the wrong-way from Strafford to Fairfield south in the northbound lanes.
Little Chute, Wisconsin – August 12, 2009 – In this one a 55-year-old man was driving south in the northbound lanes of 441 near County OO/Northland Avenue at around 3 p.m. The wrong-way driver crashed into two northbound vehicles. The driver was cited from driving under the influence of a drug. No deaths are reported.
Tarrytown, New York – August 9, 2009 - An elderly woman, 76-years, drove the wrong-way when she entered the off-ramp at Exit 9 driving north in the southbound lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge. It’s reported that she even went through the tolls driving the wrong-way. (Does that mean they refund her the toll charge?)
Charlotte, North Carolina – August 9, 2009 – I-85 is the scene of this wrong-way collision report of a 21-year-old driver. No cause is mentioned, and here is a quote from the news article. (It should be noted the driver was later charged with DWI.)
Bridges, who lives in Salisbury, said Monday that he's been interviewed by TV news crews and that opinions about his decision to chase the car in the wrong direction have been mixed.
Last month, a 38-year-old Matthews man was arrested after police said he led them on a 20-mile, wrong-way pursuit on I-85 through Mecklenburg and Gaston counties.
In early July, a wrong-way collision killed two people on U.S. 74 outside of Monroe.
In July 2007, a wrong-way crash on I-485 near the Providence Road exit killed both drivers.
Barnes County, North Dakota – August 11, 2009 – I-94 wrong-way crash with a 64-year-old man driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of travel. The female driver entered at exit 292. Confusion was apparently the cause.
Wappinger, New York – August 10, 2009 – Four injured in this head-on crash on Route 9 in this three-car mva. Around 7:15 p.m. The driver states he simply lost consciousness prior to the crash and drifted across the divider. Although titled as a wrong-way crash this may not be one in the true sense.
Hanover Township, Pennsylvania – August 10, 2009 – Route 30 is the scene of this accident described as a wrong-way collision. A motorcyclist lost his life when a 19-year-old was driving west in the eastbound lanes of Route 30, just north of Platt Road. Improper passing seems to be the cause along with youthful inexperience. The motorcycle driver was 23-years old.
Fountain Valley, Orange County, California – August 9, 2009 – This wrong-way collision is reported to involve a drunk driver attempting to elude police.
Southfield, Michigan - August 9, 2009 – Eight Mile Road is where this drunken driver drove westbound in the eastbound lanes. No injuries and no collision before police were able to stop and arrest the driver.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – August 7, 2009 – A DUI arrest of a 37-year-old man driving the wrong-way is said to have caused this head-on collision in the eastbound lanes of westbound U.S. 24 near 21st Street at around 2:30 a.m. Reports came in from 2:09 a.m. to 2:24 p.m.
Louisville, Kentucky – August 5, 2009 – I-65 at 1:15 a.m. just south of Outer Loop heading south in the northbound lanes. No one was killed even though the wrong-way driver was reported to have been speeding. “She was running 90 or better.”
Fremont, California – August 5, 2009 – This wrong-way driver was on I-880 attempting to avoid arrest, which he did, by driving south in the northbound lanes of travel.
Libertyville, Illinois – August 4, 2009 – A two-car crash when a wrong-way driver on Route 176 at 6:30 a.m. The driver was charged with with improper lane usage, driving in the wrong lane, driving with a suspended license and having an uninsured motor vehicle in connection.
Chicago, Illinois – August 3, 2009 – I-55 wrong-way crash left one dead from a crash in the northbound lanes of the Stevenson Interstate Highway. No report as the cause. This is a blog report.
Tuscon, Arizona – August 2009 – This wrong-way crash on I-10 killed the 17-year-old young driver.
Hazlet, New Jersey – August 17, 2009 – This wrong-way collision is on the Garden State Parkway heading northbound in the southbound lanes and resulted in minor injuries. The collision occcurred around 5:00 p.m.
Denver, Colorado – August 18, 2009 report indicates a 10-car pileup on I-25 was caused by a wrong-way driver. The wrong-way driver was killed. No report on the cause.
Garrett, Indiana – August 17, 2009 – The wrong-way driver drove south in the northbound lanes of I-69 after loosing control of his car, crossing the median and striking a pole. This isn’t really a wrong-way collision. It’s described that way but not one where a driver enters the highway from an exit ramp or onramp and simply turns the wrong-way. This driver crossed over the median after losing control.
Denver, Colorado – August 17, 2009 – Two women in a wrong-way vehicle fled the one-way street location wher the driver stuck a moped driver. The police continue to look for the driver and passenger. If you have information about these two women your help is needed. If you know who these two women are please call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You could be eligible for a cash reward and may remain anonymous.
Gastonia, South Carolina – July 2009 – A wrong-way driver on I-85 in Gaston County, traveling south in the northbound lanes of travel was accused of trying to strike cars driving the wrong way and finally driving into a cement wall. He was under psychiatric care.
A man who passed him told Eyewitness News it looked like Ghent was going 100 mph. That driver said he was on his way to his Charlotte home from work in Gastonia, and he remembers seeing headlights coming directly at him in his lane. He said he thought it could only be a trooper traveling on the wrong side of the road at night. He said he moved two lanes over and watched as the car passed by.
Seconds later, troopers fell in behind the vehicle.
They said they stopped Ghent near exit 23 and he refused to take a breathalyzer. They said a blood test found an unnamed prescription drug in Ghent's blood. There is a video-tape report.
InjuryBoard.com – Blog by Brooks Schuelke - What Can Be Done To Protect Dallas Motorists From Wrong-Way Drivers? Discusses how Dallas highway officials need to approach the problem. He points out what automakers are looking at the situation.
Brownsburg, Indiana – July 2009 – Near the I-74 interchange with Ronal Reagan Parkway near the western Indianapolis suburb of Brownsburg around 8:15 A.M. The collision occurred in Hendricks County involving a 59-year-old woman heading eastbound in the westbound lanes. She died when her SUV struck the rear axle of one semi, then airborne and struck another semi head-on.
Chicago, Illinois – July 2009 – I-55, near South Halsted Street at 1:50 a.m. The wrong-way driver was headed south. A 38-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash. The male wrong-way driver was neither identified nor charged although he was reported to be in custody.
Monroeville, PA – July 2009 – 9:20 A.M. - Pennsylvania Turnpike, heading west in the eastbound lane of traffic. She was 36-years-old and had a 2 ½ year old son in a car seat that survived suffering only a cut above his right eye. She was a nurse and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer semi truck. She had to have been driving the wrong-way for at least 7 miles. It appears she swerved into the right lane to avoid an oncoming semi and struck another semi head-on. Toxicology reports were not available. Inside the car was a toll-ticket and the police are attempting to determine exactly what if anything this can tell us. The news report from Channel 4 News indicated she was facing two charges of driving while under the influence from previous incidents. The video report is very good. See The Pittsburgh Channel with ABC. What is probably more interesting is doing a video search of this site produces more than 20 videos of wrong-way driver reports.
Coos Bay, Oregon – July 2009 – Most wrong-way driving is accidental, but occasionally your run into a story where it was purposefully done. This is one of those news stories. This one involves a masked man on a four-wheeler ATV traveling the wrong-way on a one way street attempting and then succeeding to allude law enforcement.
Clifton, New Jersey – July 2009 – Route 21 in Clifton around 5:00 PM heading south on a northbound lane causing a four-car collision in which five people were hurt, three seriously.
Mexico – June 2008 – Minutes after a bike race began just across the border from Brownsville, Texas a man allegedly drunk drove the wrong-way on a roadway then fell asleep at the wheel careening into the pack of riders. The Daily Telegraph published a photograph of the incident with bikes and riders flying up above the car. The man was 37-years-old. Here is a blog titled the Brooklynian that discussed Wrong way in bike lane.
It’s reported that a former associate judge in Muscatine County, Iowa was ordered to serve five years in prison for his third OWI offense. He was fined $3,125 and will serve his time at Davenport’s work release center. His BAC was more than twice the limit.
Meanwhile a Burlington, Iowa man was sentenced to 5-years of probation for being the driver of a car that crashed killing the passenger. His BAC was more than twice the limit.
A Waterloo, Iowa police officer was arrested on a drunken driver charge after the Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies responded to a car in the ditch. No breath or field sobriety test results were available. No indication in the available news stories that anyone was injured.
Coralville, Iowa police charged a Chicago man driving a U-Haul truck was stopped on I-80 with blood-alcohol content at 0.184, more than twice the legal limit. Children were in the vehicle and as reported charges of child endangerment are pending.
Driving drunk or under the influence has serious consequences as we’ve seen this past week with the Taconic Highway wrong-way driving accidents that I’ve been reporting on.
MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving have MADD statistics on their website including the link to the NHTSA’s statistics for 2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment – Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities.
In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. – a decline of 3.7 percent from the 13,491 fatalities in 2006.
The fatality rate, per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT), decreased to 0.43 – the lowest on record.
Thirty-two States had decreases in the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2007, as compared to 2006.
Twenty-five States and the District of Columbia had increases in the number of alcohol-impaired motor-cycle riders (operators).
Alcohol-impaired motorcycle riders increased by 10 percent in 2007
Since 1982 there has been a steady decline in the number of deaths per vehicle miles traveled. The death rate has gone from a high of just over 1.20 to a low of about 0.50. That’s a good thing. We are moving in the right direction.
Wrong-way Drivers Collide - Snowbanks on the roads edge can leave no way out for wrong-way interstate drivers
Fredericton, Canada - December 2007 - A 61-year-old woman drove the wrong-way on a divided highway named Vanier Highway, the other head-on crash victim died. The wrong-way driver suffered a broken ankle but learned the person who died was a friend. The wrong-way driver was charged criminally and the trial testimony along with expert witness testimony is reported in the Daily Gleaner. Factors contributing include no signage of wrong-way entry, a sign that was leaning over and snow banks along the road making pulling over impossible.
“Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Patrick Hurley, he testified that at the time of the accident, there was no signage along the Kimble Drive off-ramp warning motorists who might be travelling the wrong way down that access point to the highway.
He also said a photo he took showed that the median sign at that Kimble Drive exit, indicating which side of the median drivers should remain on, was crooked and leaning left.
Conversely, there was a sign with a Do Not Enter symbol at the Liverpool Street ramp, he said, and since the accident, signage has been added to the Kimble Drive ramp to warn motorists about travelling the wrong way.
Hurley also questioned several witnesses about the lack of room to pull over on the Vanier Highway on Dec. 21, 2007.
He suggested that snowbanks along the shoulder made it impossible to pull over and that the area by the median wasn't wide enough for a car.
While Wayne Christie agreed with those suggestions, others witnesses didn't, indicating there was just enough room by the median to pull over in some areas.”
Newport, Michigan – July 2009 - I-275 in Monroe County at 4:30 PM about 28 miles southwest of Detroit. No further details given.
Spring Hill, Florida – July 2009 - Wrong-way driver on Commercial Way. Driver was suspected of Dui but blew a negative breath test. The 28-year-old driver’s mother indicated she was probably on either prescription drugs or methamphetamines.
Saskatchewan, Canada – July 2009 - A $2,500 fine was issue to a man who had caused a collision when driving the wrong way while driving under the influence.
“Court heard two women travelling (sic) southbound on Ring Road between Victoria and Arcola avenues were shocked to suddenly see a truck heading right for them. Witnesses described something between a head-on collision and a side swipe as the two vehicles connected. They estimated the offending vehicle was travelling (sic) at highway speed or somewhat over at the time of impact.”
Los Angeles, California – July 2009 - Stolen vehicle driving wrong-way on La Cienega Bouldevard. Male driving a stolen Lexus SUV.
Indianapolis, Indiana – July 2009 – I-74, eastbound driver in westbound lanes of travel, 59-year-old female driver struck the rear duals then went airborne and struck another semi-truck head-on. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She was driving an SUV although the news reports don’t’ say what make and model.
Wrong-way collisions are frightening to think about simply because there are so many deaths associate with being involved in one. Also, considering you have two vehicles, or more, traveling in opposite directions towards each other at 70 M.P.H. the forces generated on impact are tremendous and almost certain death. But we do have to examine them and educate ourselves about how to recognize and to avoid this near-certain death car-truck-motorcycle-SUV-van crash.
Wrong-way Collisions Blog – Brooks Schuelke, Wrong Way Wrecks Are Still A Problem – This recent post is a good starting point because it refers back to other posts on this subject, listing 6 posts for you to review.
Dallas, Texas – July 2009 – Fault & Prevention Discussion - The Transportation Blog by reporter Michael Lindenberger suggests lowering the signs for those going the wrong way. He says with wrong-way drivers it’s all about drunk drivers. I don’t agree with him.
Providence, Rhode Island – July 2009 – Inner City - No Injury – Age of driver unknown - The Providence Journal has Wrong-way driver abandons junker at Waterplace Park; reporting a joy ride was driven the wrong-way inside a pedestrian tunnel. No one killed or injured. Here is a description of the route the car thief took for his joy ride the wrong-way:
At the wheel of a clunker at 2 a.m., a motorist sped the car up over the curb outside the tony condo building and drove through the short pedestrian tunnel under the building, then plunged down two flights of stairs to the railing around Waterplace Park, police Lt. Michael J. Figueiredo said. With nowhere to go but into the water, the driver banked a sharp left, drove over the pedestrian walkway over the river and tried, without success, to take a right onto the handicapped ramp at the Memorial Boulevard end.
So, the motorist backed up, parked outside the condo building's plate-glass windows, and ran off -- leaving behind a puzzle: How to get the battered Nissan back out.
Vancouver - Canada – July 2009 - Hwy 99 – Elderly female – 85-year-old – death and serious injuries - southbound in northbound lanes of Highway 99 – 5:38 PM - Two collisions, the first was one car attempting to avoid colliding with the wrong-way driver and the second was a head-on crash with the wrong-way driver. Driver going wrong way on Highway 99 dies + Confused 85-year-old dies after causing two accidents driving the wrong way on Highway 99.
Dallas, Texas – July 2009 – Dallas North Tollway – June 1, 2009 you can listen to the 9-1-1 call about wrong-way driver on the Dallas North Tollway. Age of driver is 28 years-old, female; head-on collision resulted in killing both drivers. On June 21, 2009 same turnpike a 27 year old male drove head on into another car injuring himself and two other women.
Dallas, Texas – July 2009 – NTTA to use flashing lights to warn drivers when they are heading the wrong direction.
“New reflective buttons, laid out in the shape of arrows, are being put on lanes at each of the 47 exit ramps on the tollway, North Texas Tollway Authority officials said Tuesday. Headlights from a vehicle headed the wrong way on an exit ramp will make the arrows pointing at the driver glow red.
NTTA has also installed 25 new warning signs, bringing the total number of "wrong way" or "do not enter" signs to 215. By comparison, just three people died in 28 wrong-way crashes reported by the Texas Department of Public Safety between 2003 and 2008. At least 18 involved alcohol or drugs, and alcohol has been a factor in three of the five crashes this year. The other two are still under investigation.
"It's a national and international problem," said Allen Clemson, NTTA executive director. "We're not sure it's ever going to go away."
Fulton, NY – July 2009 – I-481 – Friday night, 60-year-old male – south direction in northbound lanes. Three deaths. Driver in wrong-way crash entered highway in Fulton
by Sarah Moses / The Post-Standard , Tuesday July 14, 2009, 8:22 PM
In addition the NTTA is considering three other changes to avoid WWD’s.
The NTTA is considering:
• Installing sensors in pavement that would detect a vehicle headed in the wrong direction so law enforcement could be alerted more quickly.
• Using electronic signs to send messages that would alert motorists that a wrong-way driver is headed their way.
• Lowering "do not enter" signs on exit ramps to make them easier to see.
Twin Cities, Minnesota – July 2009 – 49, y.o. female, OWI – BAC .33 legal is .08. Wrong-way driver on McAndrews Road in Burnside, MN. Slight injuries to both drivers, the story is covered by Pioneer Press.
Baldwinsville, NY – July 2009 – Route 481 – three deaths. A 60 yo male driver driving south in the northbound lanes. Victims were the other driver, age 27 and the at-fault driver’s passenger, 82-year old female.
“State Police released more details Monday on Friday night's crash. Troopers say witnesses reported seeing 60-year-old Gary Foster of Syracuse enter the highway's northbound lanes in Fulton and drive several miles south before colliding with another car driven by Reed. Foster and 82-year-old Jacqueline Grove, a passenger in his car, both died in the accident.”
Scottsdale, Arizona – July 2009 – 36-year-old woman left driveway the wrong-way on Indian School Road resulting in a head-on collision injuring all four people. Charged with DUI/OWI. Drunk Driver Causes Wrong-Way Crash. 11:10 A.M.
Asheville, South Carolina – July 2009 – Good luck figuring this one out. Asheville Police have charged a man after initially charging another man with the same crime.
“Police have charged 37-year old Jimmy Eugene Jordan, of Asheville, and charged him with reckless driving to endanger, speeding, fleeing to elude arrest, driving while license revoked and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official. According to a spokesperson for the Asheville Police Department, due to information given to them by 36-year old Nicole Leah Thompson-Dockery, of Candler, they had charged 43-year old Craig Ross Griffin, of Leicester, with driving the wrong way down a one-way street on July 16 and nearly striking an officer conducting traffic enforcement.
The spokesperson says that Thompson-Dockery, who wanted for Parole and Probations violations in Mecklenburg County, was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the incident. Officials say she intentionally misled officers and gave them Griffin’s name in order to get him in trouble with police and subsequently Jordan was identified as the driver of the vehicle.
Police are currently seeking Jordan. If anyone has any information as to his whereabouts they are asked to call Asheville Police at (828) 252-1110 or Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050.”
Delta, Canada – July 2009 - Highway 99 in Delta, 5:30 PM rush hour, Tuesday, five vehicles, one fatality, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes; a three car collision was caused when a driver attempted to avoid colliding with the wrong-way vehicle. The wrong-way driver was an 81-year-old female who was killed.
Syracuse, NY – July 2009 – Three people died, wrong-way driver on Route 481, 60-year-old male. The at-fault driver had an 82-year-old passenger who also didn’t realize they were traveling the wrong way. The driver of the car they struck was 27-years-old and died in the collision. City of Fulton, New York – July 2009 – Route 481 is the roadway that a driver drove the wrong-way for over 17 miles speeding along before crashing with another vehicle. The 60-year-old driver was driving south in the northbound lanes of travel. The police received 16 emergency calls about this car that was going the wrong-way while Oswego County received 23 phone calls. Channel 9 WSYR also covered this story and has video, both edited and raw footage available for viewing.
Chiriaco Summit, California – July 2009 - I-10, 2:05 A.M., 90-year-old driver and his wife passenger escaped serious injury when their pickup truck driving westbound in the eastbound slow lane collided head-on with a semi-truck. The Ford pickup hit the semi-truck head-on even though the semi driven by a Missouri man swerved towards the fast lane in an attempt to avoid the collision sideswiped a van and ended up in the median.
Canada – Highway 99 – July 2009 - entered from highway 10 – heading southbound on the northbound freeway lanes – 84-year-old woman – the only fatality was the wrong-way driver; all others were injured but not severely – one crash occurred on the other side of the highway when a driver attempting to avoid the wrong-way driver crossed the median striking oncoming motorists. Highway closed for six hours. Speed was 100 km/hr.
The driver of a 2000 Toyota 4 Runner lost control at the 1-35 southbound ramp to the I-80 eastbound ramp and the SUV rolled several times causing the passengers inside to be ejected. The accident occurred on July 25, 2009 at around 5:00 a.m. in Polk County, Iowa. The driver must have failed the breath test for alcohol because he was charged with OWI 3rd, driving while his license was barred and homicide by motor vehicle, 2 counts. The last charge was due to Martina Cadena and Mar’quis Rochelle dying as a result of being ejected during the rollover. Keenan was 31-years of age and from Iowa City. Rochelle was 26-years of age and also from Iowa City. Martina Cadena was 35 and from Coralville, Iowa.
Is there negligence here? If there is it's probably to be proven in pursing evidence of the driver taking the curve too fast, driving while under the influence and not using due care. A failure to keep a proper lookout should also be pursued. Passengers and the estates of the two who died would have 2 years to pursue causes of action. They can expect to have to pursue coverage under their own auto policies; because it's not likely the driver had auto insurance since he was barred from driving. Insurance companies insure risk and a person with a barred license shouldn't even be driving; so he's probably not insurable. UIM, or uninsured motorist policies may have a two-year statute of limitations or it could be from the date of the denial by the insurer. Check the applicable policies.
Two 13-year-olds operating separate boats collided on Lost Island Lake east of Spencer, Iowa. Lost Island Lake is one vacation water spot in Iowa. One of the boys was injured and flown to a hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Sunday. The report from KCCI indicates the one boat driven by Langerman had another 13-year-old passenger, Morgan Muller.
Question remains to be answered as to what they were doing just prior to colliding. When I grew up on the water every boat had a green/red light on the front indicating which side your boat should stay with an approaching boat. Also larger boats have to yield to smaller-slower boat.
Who should have yielded the right-of-way? What were they doing at the time just previous to colliding? There are many questions to be answered and few details to go on.
Lost Island Lake, Iowa 51358
On July 9th 2009 Veronica Lima of West Des Moines was dropped off on 9th and Walnut when DART bus driver Robert Delpierre allegedly failed to yield the right of way and then stopped right on her leg. Now that’s an ouch-moment beyond the imagination. When Mr. Delpierre was asked if he could back up the report says he appeared in shock and while there has been speculation about whether Ms. Lima was in the crosswalk or not, witness Scott Vanscoy is quoted as saying, “It shouldn’t have happened, she had the right away”. On the Des Moines Register message board a message left by a Vanscoy (Scott Vanscoy?) had this to say, “This woman was in fact in the cross walk, I saw her there. And the comment about him holding her hand until paramedics arrived...My only memory of the driver being there was when he initially came over and proceeded to scold the victim for not watching where she was going! Your comments are just about as sickening as the drivers!”
To further support her case it seems that these accidents are common when the DART bus drivers are making left hand turns as this is the 6th such incident involving accidents when making left hand turns since 2007. With the number of accidents it makes citizens wonder if their training is sufficient or if something else is going on. Are the pedestrians not watching out as well? Are the drivers and pedestrians making eye contact to know each knows the other is aware of their presence? If not, how about if one or both stop. While the bus agency’s general manager said that she was not in the crosswalk he admitted that the accident was going to force them relook at having all drivers make only right hand turns in order to avoid any further incidents.
What is “threading the needle”?
I became interested in the idea of threading the needle after reporting on an intersection collision in rural Iowa that killed three people. The accident occurred in Washington, Iowa on May 23, 2009. I reported on it in a blog dated May 26th. Here is the blog post if you’re interested to review it.
One commenter raised the question of whether the young driver was attempting to thread the needle. Another commenter seemed irate about that being suggested and after the dust settled I left the comment alone because it appeared to me to be fair for discussion. So I’ve been asking myself, what is threading the needle and are the kids in Washington County, Iowa doing it? I was not able to locate any video on YouTube involving the Ellen DeGenerus show and threading the needle. If anyone has it please send us the link.
“It is my opinion that teenagers pay only lip service to the idea of driving safely. To be a teen is to risk your life and survive to tell the tale. If somehow these teens had performed that much-viewed feat seen on Ellen Degeneres and YouTube, where an SUV "threads the needle" between two cars at an intersection at highway speed.”
Partial comment, Posted by VCDaedalus on May 28, 2009 8:41 AM.
Well low and behold another commenter later asked the same question and pointed out about a more recent collision in Washington County. Whatever the case may be the Courts need to get tough on the kids in Washington County and figure out if that is what is going on down there.
Posted by Gordon D
July 11, 2009 9:07 AM
Another "accident" in Washington County, where and I state from the local paper "According to reports from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, at about 11:13 a.m. Thursday, a green 2004 Saturn driven by Zachary Ryan Bonebrake of Keota was westbound on 190th Street east of Ginkgo. According to report, the vehicle didn't stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Ginkgo and 190th and stuck a gray 2000 Chevy S-10 driven by Russell Albert Yoder of Richland in the intersection." Is this another possible case of "threading the eye of the needle." From the talk here in Washington, Iowa, by the High School age drivers, yes.
I’ve checked but am not able to confirm this collision or the people stated by Gordon D as being involved. So I can’t say the collision occurred or if it did that it happened as reported. But the idea is one that parents, law enforcement, lawyers and judges need to be aware.
Here is threading the needle with a car while crossing an intersection in heavy traffic. It's very dangerous and scary.
Let’s assume that young adults are brave, stupid or crazy enough to try this. If they are we have to wonder where young adults are getting the idea to attempt this. I was surprised how prevalent the idea is and how often the term “thread the needle” is used in our society. News reporters use the terms, as do coaches and even parents. It's used in sports, leisure activities and for anything where competition to one-up the next guy is involved.
THREADING THE NEEDLE DEFINED
Threading the needle refers to performing some action at a high rate of speed through a narrow opening. You might wonder why parents and lawyers need to know what threading the needle involves. Well, your child may be threading the needle with your family car and kill someone; in which case the lawyers need to understand either how much trouble their client is in or to plead for punitive damages against the driver who unsuccessfully tried to thread the needle causing injury to the client. Parents need to know about this because as owners of the cars their kids drive they are legally responsible for their driving accidents that cause injury and death.
WHERE DO KIDS GET SUCH IDEAS!
How about if we look around to see how this term is used today in American society, who is using it and in what context. You'd never believe responsible parents would allow it to be taught; would you? And I'm sure we doubt our schools are teaching it to our children. Right? And certainly coaches aren't teaching it. Certainly not.
As parents we can in some ways be teaching the skill of threading the needle. While it may be cute at a young age, it does teach the idea of thrill seeking that can later lead to serious injury or death. Here is a young snowboarder, about 6 years of age, threading the needle. From the sound of the voice on the recording it appears to be an older man, which I’m assuming is the boy’s father proudly recording his young son while threading the needle on a snowboard.
Here a very young wrestler “threads the needle” using a half-nelson while rolling the opponent over onto his back for a pin.
Here it is with a plane flying at over 100 mph through a hole in a rock formation.
Threading the needle in a jet boat on a lake or river in this case involved driving at a high rate of speed between two trees. Of course this isn’t the smartest thing to do because if you have two dead trees there may be a stump between the two that can puncture the hull of your boat sending the occupants overboard where they can suffer a head or neck injury leading to traumatic brain damage, paralysis, quadriplegia, paraplegia or death.
Children are being introduced to this idea at a very young age. In this video about concerning how to win a video game involving combat the instructor tells us how the Wolverine threads the needle. Threading the Needle on the X-Men game involves moving Wolverine through a narrow opening; in this case a ring.
There is threading the needle with radio controlled model planes as well. In this video the RC Plane operator shows us how to fly the plane through a narrow opening created by two palm trees.
Threading the needle with a truck refers to driving it through a narrow opening. As you can see in this video clip the narrow opening through which the driver threads the needle is a narrow pass.
In dance threading the needle refers to a maneuver whereby one leg that is being held is used to create a narrow opening in which the dancer hops on one leg and threads the free leg over the leg and by the arm that holds it. Here watch it’s easier to see than for me to explain.
Here is another example of how to perform this break dancing maneuver.
And in this video tape threading the needle is introduced as “entertainment”, it being a part of the game. The idea is introduced to teenagers and young adults through a combat video game where the participant is a pilot flying at a high rate of speed through and around skyscrapers eventually being ejected and skydiving to an island.
Here is another entertainment version of threading the needle by a skateboarder lying down on the board while threading under fixed objects.
EA Skate 2 More Dam coffin shenanigans ~ successfully threading the needle!
This idea of TTN is about having the skill to take the risk and to avoid injury. Here we have a skateboarder demonstrating threading the needle over a chain.
Our society encourages developing skills enabling us to be entertained by maneuvers that expose the participants to a level of risk that can cause injury or death. The higher the risk the more exciting and highly regarded the maneuver. In this video we see a kayaker threading the needle. As a kayaker threading the needle is a maneuver taught by threading through two boulders with water rushing around and over them.
And let’s not leave snow skiing out of the mix. They too thread between two skiers who are standing still. While this skier isn’t very skillful the idea is still put out there as threading.
Football teaches threading the needle as a skill young people need to perfect. In this case it’s taught to wide receivers who drag their feet to stay inbounds as they catch a pass tossed over or very close to the out-of-bounds side line.
In this second video a girl is taught in football how to thread the needle by passing the ball between two defenders while successfully making the pass to the receiver.
The same reference is made in college football. This one involving Texas A&M at Southern Arkansas.
In car racing the concept is also introduced.
The idea is even part of snowmobiling.
Just look around you and you will see evidence of where they might be getting the idea to thread the needle. While no one can argue that throwing a pass between two defenders can be compared with recklessly driving a car through a busy intersection against a stop sign or light, you have to know that we are planting the idea out there and then handing junior the car keys giving them the means to perfect this insane maneuver.
And we wonder why this generation seems so confused.
The news always refers to them as “road fatalities” but really they are car crashes of various natures, some have to do with the road and others don’t. They do start off on the road but many have to do with driver distractions; distractions that cause a loss of control or making the wrong decisions while driving.
A couple of Wisconsin residents died when the van in which they were riding near Maquoketa lost control and rolled. The Des Moines Register reports no names have been released. (2 deaths)
Then near Burlington on Sunday another one-car collision and a loss of control as the man rolled and crashed on a gravel surface road near Fairfield. No seat belt apparently. (1 death)
The third collision involved the wrong decision probably from alcohol or a distraction that allowed the motorcycle driver to turn north on the southbound lanes of travel on Highway 380 a very new divided highway in Cedar Rapids. (1 died)
The fourth collision is with a tree. This again was a one-vehicle collision. (1 killed)
And lastly a driver turns left of center and collides head-on with a semi-truck. No explanation is given for moving across the center and none will be made as all the people in the car died. (2 died)
Distractions along with driving while under the influence of alcohol can kill you. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Put down the cell phone or get a Bluetooth or better yet make them wait, until you arrive to hear what you have to say.
Today we continue with several more pedestrian-car-truck-bus-train collision news items. There are too many pedestrian collisions just since the first of the year. After reading too many pedestrian-accident reports I suggest that both drivers and pedestrians pay more attention to what’s ahead or what’s coming. Today we’ll look at one additional news item that adds to our investigation into what themes or reasons (causes) as to why pedestrians get struck so much. By analyzing how pedestrians get into accidents with motor vehicles maybe we can avoid finding ourselves in this situation. Today we examine Elizabeth, New Jersey’s pedestrian collision involving a firefighter.
Elizabeth, New Jersey - January 2009 – An early morning house fire placed firefighter Gary Stephens in the situation of directing fire trucks at the scene. As a veteran firefighter he found himself standing as a pedestrian behind a fire truck where he was run over. Whether the rear-warning alarm was working is unknown. As reported the fire was started by a homeless person attempting to stay warm.
It’s a very sad story, one that was probably avoidable but without a full report there isn’t much to go on. They never did say if the backup rear warning device was working. Although that may have helped we can’t be sure due to sirens probably being used at the same time.
Today we continue with the pedestrian-car-truck-bus-train collision news items. There are so many of them just since the first of the year. You can tell its spring. Today we’ll look at three additional news items that each provides a theme or reason (cause) as to why pedestrians get struck so much.
Taylor County, West Virginia, March 2009 – A 22-year-old young man was struck and killed while walking in the same direction as a car being driven by a 50-year-old man along Pup Run Road heading towards Route 250. This accident probably could have been avoided if the pedestrian had been walking against traffic; so he could watch oncoming cars. Not to excuse the driver, but pedestrians need to protect themselves against all of the dumb and lame things drivers do that distract them from the task of safely driving.
Hemet, California, February 2009 – A 64-year-old pedestrian man was struck and killed in Riverside County, California as he attempted to cross West Florida Street around 4:30 p.m. Rescue workers had to lift the Ford Taurus off of the pedestrian; the pedestrian ended up under the car. This report comes to us from Estey and Bomberger Law Firm.
Rochester, New Yuck, May 2009 – In this case an 11-year-old child was allowed to play near a busy street intersection. When she ran out into the street in the path of an oncoming vehicle she was struck and injured. For whatever reason relatives of the child came running onto the scene allegedly in a hostile manner confronting the driver. I wonder where the relatives were when the child was playing near this intersection. Police arrived and calmed things down. The child was taken to an area hospital apparently alright. Parents, supervisors, babysitters and even relatives need to be more concerned with where children play. Getting mad at the driver isn’t the answer.
Tomorrow we will continue with pedestrian safety.