June 14, 2012

Fatal Head-on Collision Occurs on U.S. Route 160 in Howell County

Two Caulfield, Missouri residents were injured on June 10, 2012 in a car crash on Route 160 in Howell County. One Caulfield, Missouri resident was killed in the crash. The time of the Missouri wrongful death accident was 3:00pm.

Gary M. Ragar, age 53, was driving eastbound on Route 160 in his 1963 Ford Galaxie. At the same time, Ronald L. Becker, age 75, was driving westbound on Route 160 and was traveling in his 2001 Ford F250. Becker was also accompanied by Carolyn H. Becker, age 71. For unknown reasons, Ragar crossed the center line of Route 160. Ragar’s vehicle ended up striking Becker’s vehicle in a head-on collision. Both vehicles sustained total damage due to the head-on collision.

Carolyn and Ronald Becker both sustained some injuries due to the collision. Gary M. Ragar was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Missouri State Highway Patrol. Highway Patrol examined the surviving drivers as required by Missouri law. Carolyn and Ronald Becker were both transported by ambulance services to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Missouri. Ragar’s body was transported to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home in West Plains Missouri. Ragar’s next of kin has been since notified of the fatal Missouri car accident. None of the parties had their safety devices activated before the accident.

Missouri State Highway Patrol also notes that this has been the fourteenth (14th) fatality in this sector this year as opposed to the twelve (12) fatalities that occurred in 2011 in the same time period.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and multiple other sources have noted that head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. Statistics show that close to 10 percent of all fatal car accidents are head-on collisions. From a scientific standpoint, head-on collisions are deadly because even a head-on collision with two vehicles traveling at moderate speeds can simulate an impact as if a vehicle had been traveling at extremely high speeds. Not only do head-on collisions often guarantee severe vehicle damage, but could also result in serious or fatal injuries. Wearing a seat-belt may potentially be the difference between a serious injury and a fatality, but the best protective measure is drive in a safe and careful manner.

Missouri car accident lawsuits can occur even if one or all of the parties involved in the accident are deceased (whether in the accident or afterwards). Parties can file lawsuits like wrongful death suits in a Missouri court of law that will litigate the issue of the car accident even if main parties are dead. In most cases, estates of the deceased will stand-in as a representative party. In some scenarios, family members may be able to act in behalf of a Missouri fatal car crash victim. However, these kinds of lawsuits are often very complex. In the case of a fatal Missouri car accident, it would be best to contact a Missouri car accident attorney for assistance and information.

March 10, 2012

Missouri Front Impact Car Accident Kills Teen, Injures Three

One Carrollton teen was killed in a Missouri double head on collision in Carroll County, Missouri. Three other teens were seriously injured.

The accident occurred when two vehicles crossed the centerline of CR 281. A 2003 Mitsubishi and a 2000 Ford struck each other head-on. Quentin J. Simmons, the 18 year old driver of the Ford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Three other Carrollton teens suffered personal injury in the accident. Logan W. Frank, 18, was the driver of Mitsubishi. Two of Simmons’ occupants – Jessica N. Hendrix, 17, and Brianna S. Millard, 15 – were seriously injured as well. Frank, Hendrix, and Millard were transported by Carroll County EMS to the Carroll County Memorial Hospital.

Car crashes involving teen drivers are the top killer of teenagers in the United States. Car crashes account for the deaths of thousands of American teens each year. The Center for Disease Control estates that more than 350,000 teens are injured in motor vehicle crashes in a single year. Teenaged drivers are four times more likely to crash than older drivers.

Parents with teenaged children often worry about Missouri teen car accidents. One way that parents can prevent Missouri teen car accidents is by instilling a curfew. Studies show that more than 40% of fatal teen crashes occur between the hours of nine p.m. and six a.m.

Parents can also respect the restrictions imposed on teen drivers who have recently obtained a learners permit or driver’s license. Graduated driver’s license programs are designed to empower teens to learn how to drive while protecting teens from dangerous influences. In many states, teen drivers who have recently obtained a driver’s license cannot have teen passengers. The restrictions on passengers for teen drivers follows studies that show that teens are more likely to crash their vehicles with passengers in the car than when driving alone.

March 3, 2012

Prison Time for Missouri DUI Accident Drivers

Courts around the nation are using prison sentences to deter and punish drunk drivers when other measures fail to contain the problem. Missouri and other states are sentencing drunk drivers to prison after these reckless drivers cause personal injury and death in accidents.

A California woman, Danae Marie Miller, was recently sentenced to four years in prison after she killed a bicyclist in a DUI accident. The 23 year old Californian was drinking at a restaurant before driving her Volkswagen Jetta. She began texting on her cellphone, causing her to swerve into the bike lane of the roadway. The Volkswagen crashed into and killed a female bicyclist who was riding in the bike lane. The drunk driver was charged with felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated. The drunk driver had previously received numerous citations for the type of driving negligence that caused the accident.

Missouri courts have enacted even harsher punishments for drunk drivers who cause fatal Missouri DUI car accidents. The St. Louis Post-Disptach reported that local man Newton Keene was sentenced to 28 years in prison after his negligence caused a DUI accident. Three people were killed in the crash.

Keene drove the wrong way on an interstate highway at 2am when he crashed into another vehicle. The accident killed a woman named Tawanda Jackson, Jackson’s friend Jon Moss, and Jackon’s son Arnold. Jackson’s daughter Takia, an 11 year old child, survived the DUI accident. The accident victims were on the interstate because they were returning home from a funeral of a family member.

Prior to this accident, Keene had been jailed for five previous DUIs. Since Keene has shown through his actions that routine punishments did not deter his negligent behavior, the court sentenced Keene with the maximum penalty allowed. Keene must also serve at least 24 years of his term before he is even eligible for parole.

When drunk drivers are convicted of criminal offenses for their negligence in causing car accidents, an experienced Missouri drunk driving accident attorney can use that conviction against the drunk driver in a civil lawsuit on behalf of the accident victims. Accident victims should contact an attorney to understand their legal rights.

February 29, 2012

Triple Fatality in Missouri Head On Collision

Three people died and two more were injured in a Miller County Missouri head on car accident on February 28, 2012. The afternoon accident involved two vehicles on Missouri Route 52 at Brown Road.

The accident occurred when Emily M. Frakes, driving a 2002 Toyota, crossed the centerline of the roadway. The Toyota slammed head-on into a 2008 Pontiac with several passengers, including an infant and a child. Both vehicles were totaled in the collision.

Three family members were killed by the crash. Marty R. Wilcox, the 36 year old driver of the Pontiac, was killed. Elisa M. Wilcox, the 27 year old wife of the driver, was also killed. Marty R. Wilcox Jr., the three year old son of Marty Sr., was killed in the accident. Gabriel J. Wilcox, the 2 day old son of Marty Sr., suffered moderate personal injury. The family was bringing Gabriel home from the hospital when the crash occurred. Emily Frakes, the driver of the Toyota, was injured in the accident as well.

February 22, 2012

St. Louis Teen Killed in Chesterfield, Missouri car accident

A teenager from south St. Louis was killed in a Chesterfield Missouri car accident that injured two others. The St. Louis County car accident occurred on Olive Blvd where it hits Creve Coeur Mill Road, blocking the road and causing major traffic delays.

The accident occurred when a 2012 Infiniti SUV crossed the centerline of Olive Blvd and crashed into a 2007 Dodge truck. The Infiniti then crashed into a 1998 Honda Accord head-on. Traffic on westbound Olive Blvd was blocked until 3:45pm.

Clayton Pfeiffer was fatally injured by the head-on collision. The teen was memorialized by Vianney High School, from which he graduated last year. The driver of the Infiniti and his passenger were sent to an area hospital for medical treatment. The driver of the Dodge Truck had no reported injuries in the accident.

The loss of a child is possibly the most difficult circumstance imaginable for any parent. When parents lose a child, a lawsuit is often far from their minds. However, wrongful death lawsuits are time limited.

Most lawsuits have an applicable “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations creates a strict time limit on the ability to file a lawsuit. If parents try to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their child past the deadline, the court will dismiss the lawsuit. The consequences of waiting until the statute of limitations has barred suit are severe.

Parents who have lost their children in car crashes should contact an experienced Missouri wrongful death attorney for a free legal consultation about their options. Ideally, the consultation should occur soon after the accident. Having the consultation early can ensure that the statute of limitations will not stop the parents from bringing a lawsuit that can hold the tortfeasor accountable for the accident.

January 25, 2012

Fatality in Missouri School Bus Accident near Pleasant Hope

A Pleasant Hope woman was killed in a Polk County Missouri schoolbus accident on January 24, 2012 at 3:55pm. The accident was reconstructed by a crash team to better understand how the accident occurred.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a 2001 Dodge pickup truck skidded out of control across Route H, south of Pleasant Hope, Missouri. The pickup truck skidded into the path of a 2000 GMC schoolbus. The schoolbus crashed broadside into the pickup truck.

Tracy L. Bauer of Pleasant Hope was killed in the accident. She was pronounced dead by Pok County Coroner Roy Harms. Bauer was the driver of the pickup truck. Wilfred S. Hardiman of Buffalo, the drive of the school bus, suffered moderate injuries. Hardiman was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri for medical treatment. No children were injured in the Missouri school bus accident.

Missouri school bus accident liability may be difficult for an accident victim to understand. One complication is the concept of governmental immunity. Essentially, governmental immunity means that governmental units cannot be sued, unless they consent to be sued. Governmental immunity presents a definite hurdle for schoolbus accident victims, since schoolbus drivers may be employees of a local government.

The State of Missouri enacted state statute § 537.600 to emphasize that governmental immunity for the state (also known as “sovereign immunity”) is still in effect: “Such sovereign or governmental tort immunity …shall remain in full force and effect.” However the statute then waives that immunity for injuries that result from negligent motor vehicle operation by public employees. If the municipality that employs the bus driver has a similar statute, an accident victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the bus driver and the municipality.

January 23, 2012

Granby Woman Drowns in Missouri Car Accident

A woman from the rural area surrounding Granby, Missouri drowned after a Newton County car accident on January 23, 2012.

Jennifer and Robert Youngblodod were driving on Old Scenic Drive near Fremont Lane. Robert, who was driving a Honda Accord, became distracted while driving. The Honda drove off the east side of the roadway, down an embankment, and into nearby Shoal Creek.

The couple called 911 while still in the vehicle in the creek. The couple did not know exactly where they were. Investigating authorities believe that both Jennifer and Robert managed to escape the vehicle after it crashed into the creek. However, Jennifer never made it to the bank. When the authorities arrived, Jennifer had drowned and was swept down the creek.

Car accidents are often harrowing for accidents. Car accidents that involved a body of water are even more terrifying. The moments after any kind of motor vehicle collision are confusing for accident victims. If the accident victim is inside a sinking vehicle, the confusion can be life threatening.

Studies indicate that panic is a common cause of death in car accidents that involve bodies of water. While the situation is harrowing for anyone, understanding how to react can reduce the amount of panic that the accident victim feels.

First, the accident victim should lower the windows. In most modern cars, the windows are controlled by the vehicles electrical system. Like all electrical devices, the vehicle’s electrical system will begin to malfunction in water. Lowering the windows first will create an effective escape route for the accident victim. If the power window function is no longer working, the accident victims should use a heavy object to break the window.

Next, the accident victim should remove his or her seatbelt. Escaping from the vehicle with the seatbelt on is impossible, but many accident victims forget this step while panicking. Removing the safety devices from any child occupants is always important at this stage.

Finally, the accident victim should quickly escape the vehicle from the window. A vehicle can fill up with water in 60 to 120 seconds. While the vehicle still has air, the accident victim should take a breath, exit the vehicle, and swim to the surface as quickly as possible.

If capable, the accident victim should contact emergency services for medical treatment. Trained medical professionals can identify and treat the injuries resulting from the accident. After receiving medical treatment, the accident victim should contact a St. Louis Missouri accident attorney for a legal consultation about the accident.

December 3, 2011

Chesterfield Man Killed in St. Louis County Missouri Wrong Way Crash

James V. Gobble, 35, of Chesterfield died in a St. Louis County Missouri head on car accident. The Saint Louis County Missouri front impact car accident occurred on eastbound I-64, east of Boone’s Crossing.

Gobble drove a 2005 Honda Civic westbound on the eastbound lanes of I-64 at 9:32pm on December 01, 2011. The Civic crashed head on into a 2004 Nissan Altima driven by Jorge P. Hernandez of O’Fallon, Missouri. The Civic and Nissan were both totaled in the St. Louis County Missouri car accident. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and local authorities could not immediately uncover why Gobble drove against traffic on the interstate highway.

Both Gobble and Hernandez were transported by Monarch Ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri for medical treatment. Gobble was pronounced dead at the hospital. The authorities notified his next of kin. Hernandez survived the fatal St Louis County Missouri head on collision.

Occasionally, the person who passes away in a fatal Missouri car accident is the person who caused the accident. In this situation, a surviving accident victim may worry about whether they can obtain compensation for their injuries. If the person who caused the accident is dead, who may be sued?

In Missouri, the estate of a negligent driver may be sued in this situation. The lawsuit would continue just as if the negligent driver were still alive, with minor differences. For example, the summons and complaint would have to be served on the estate’s executor. This policy allows injured parties to recover compensation for injuries that resulted from the negligent conduct of another person. The accident victim should not have to bear the burden of recovering from the accident merely because the person who caused the accident passed away.

Missouri statute §537.020 allows personal injury and wrongful death to survive, “regardless of the death of either party.” This statute provides the substantive legal basis for the accident victim’s ability to file suit against the estate of a negligent driver.

Whether to file suit against the estate of a negligent driver is a serious decision that an accident victim should not take lightly. Accident victims may be concerned about other parties who may need to recover from the estate. Some accident victims feel uncomfortable suing the estate with the knowledge that spouses and children were left behind by the negligent driver. Our Missouri car accident attorneys understand the serious concerns that accompany the decision to sue. Contact our attorneys for a free legal consultation to discuss the legal and personal issues that may affect your decision.

November 30, 2011

Fatal Franklin County Missouri Car Accident on MO-30

A teen from High Ridge, Missouri died in a Franklin County Missouri stop sign accident on November 29, 2011. Two other Missourians suffered moderate injuries in the Franklin County Missouri car accident.

The Tuesday afternoon accident occurred with 17 year old driver Gunnar T. Smith failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection between highway 30 and Hendricks Road. Smith’s 2003 Ford Escort collided with a 1999 Winnebago in the intersection. The Winebago was driven by Glennon O. Naeger of Perryville, Missouri.

Nicholas S. Decker, a teenaged occupant in Smith’s vehicle, died in the fatal Franklin County Missouri accident. Both drivers – Smith and Naegar – suffered moderate injuries in the accident. Naeger received treatment at St. Anthony’s Medical Center while Smith was transported to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Decker’s next of kin has been notified.

Stop sign violations are a major cause of Missouri car accidents. Many types of stop behaviors lead to stop sign accidents. A common cause of Missouri stop sign car accidents is the failure to stop at the stop sign. Other car accidents result when a driver does stop at a stop sign, but fails to notice traffic already in the intersection.

A study published in the Journal of Safety Research analyzed the crash reports of crashes at stop sign controlled intersections. According to the results, 70% of all crashes at stop sign controlled intersections are caused by stop sign violations. The study found that roughly 700,000 motor vehicle crashes occur at stop signs. A substantial proportion of those accidents cause physical injuries. Drivers under the age of 18 accounted for a disproportionate amount of Missouri stop sign accidents.

Stop sign accidents in which the driver completely failed to stop at the stop sign are more likely to cause injury. Failure to stop at a stop sign may be the result of driver negligence. Drivers may be too distracted by conversations or mobile devices to notice the stop sign. A municipality may be at fault for a stop sign accident. The stop sign may be difficult to see because trees or other large objects are obscuring their view.

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November 23, 2011

St. Clair High School Teen Killed in Franklin County Missouri Car Crash

Corina L. Wilken, a 17 year old from St. Clair, was killed in a Franklin County Missouri car accident. The Missouri car accident seriously injured Tyler M. Palmer, a 16 year old from St. Clair. The tragic accident serves as a stark reminder about the importance of safe teen driving.

Palmer was driving a 2001 Dodge Stratus on northbound Highway 47 when the Franklin County car accident occurred. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Palmer was driving too fast for road conditions. The Dodge began to spin. The Dodge careened off the left side of the roadway and crashed into a tree.

An emergency responder revealed that Wilken died at the scene of the accident. She did not wear a safety belt during the accident. Palmer was transported by flight to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Palmer suffered serious injuries during the Franklin County Missouri car accident, including a ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, broken bones, and spine damage. A recent update indicated that Palmer was in an induced coma. Palmer may be unable to breathe on his own.

Teen car accidents statistics tell a dire story about teen driver safety. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Studies show that drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 have the highest crash rates when compared to other age groups. Researchers believe that several factors account for the large amount of Missouri teen driver car accidents, including poor risk analysis and distracted driving.

Poor risk analysis plays a large role in teen car accidents. Teenagers tend to underestimate the amount of risk while driving. Teens engage in risky driving behavior without quite comprehending the amount of risk that they are taking. For example, a teen driver may drive significantly faster than the speed limit on a curvy road without appreciating the danger of that choice. Teens tend to overestimate their abilities to avoid threats as well. A teen driver may attempt a turn in a busy intersection with the mistaken belief that the other vehicles are easily avoidable.

Distracted driving is a major problem for teen safety. Teenagers often engage in dangerous, distracting behaviors while driving. Teens are more likely than older adults to write and read text messages while operating a motor vehicle. In response to the texting while driving phenomenon, Missouri law bans drivers under the age of 21 from texting while driving.

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October 31, 2011

Festus Missouri Man Dies in Jefferson County Pedestrian Accident

Michael B. Chamness of Festus, Missouri died in a Jefferson County Missouri pedestrian accident that occurred early Saturday morning. The Missouri pedestrian accident occurred on Highway 61, south of Plattin Road. Chamness entered the roadway from the west shoulder. Chamness was hit by a 1995 Toyota Camry driven by Michael J. Ellenberger of Festus. Chamness was pronounced dead by the Joachim Plattin Ambulance District. Ellenberger did not suffer any reported injuries.

Thousands of pedestrians die in traffic fatalities each year. Motor vehicles are heavy machines built of metal. On large roadways, motor vehicles may travel at high speeds. The human body may not be able to withstand a collision with a motor vehicle. As a result, pedestrians suffer the bulk of the serious injuries and fatalities caused by Missouri pedestrian accidents. In 2009, roughly 4,000 pedestrians were killed by traffic accidents nationwide.

Pedestrian accident victims should contact an experienced Missouri plaintiff attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The driver’s defense attorney will attempt to fight the accident victim’s compensation by arguing that the pedestrian was partially at fault for the accident. The defense attorney may argue that the pedestrian failed to monitor traffic before crossing or failed to walk within a crosswalk. The defense attorney may accuse the pedestrian of unexpectedly running into the road.

The defense attorney’s potential blame-shifting arguments are relevant for pedestrian accident victims because Missouri is a comparative negligence state. The compensation that the pedestrian accident victim may recover after an accident is limited by pedestrian’s percentage of fault. If the court finds that the pedestrian accident victim was partially at fault for the accident, the pedestrian accident victim may not be able recover full compensation.

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October 29, 2011

Fiery Nodaway County Missouri Pickup Accident Causes on Triple Fatality

Three people were killed and four people were injured in a Missouri pickup truck accident on October 29, 2011 at 2:15am. The Missouri pickup truck accident occurred as Scott R. Woods of Hopkins, Missouri drove a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck on Missouri highway 246, just half a mile east of Hopkins. The pickup truck ran off the south side of the road. Woods overcorrected and the pickup truck drove off the north side of the road. The pickup truck overturned re-entering the roadway and caught fire.

None of the occupants of the pickup truck wore a seatbelt. All of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle during the accident. There were three fatalities in the Missouri pickup truck accident. Chrystal N. Olerich, 18, and Benjamin T. McIntyre, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Nodaway County Coroner Dr. Vince Shelby. Joshua E. Bix, 21, was transported to St. Francis Hospital for medical treatment, but Dr. Bob Matthews pronounced his death at 3:48am. Three other adults were injured and transported to St. Francis Hospital – Jordan L. Breeding, 19, Kaley L. Folkerts, 19, and Samantha L. Weed, 18. Weed was life-flighted to Omaha, Nebraska after her visit to St. Francis Hospital. Woods the pickup driver suffered injuries, but refused medical treatment at scene.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 8,000 pickup trucks are involved in fatal truck accidents nationwide. Pickup trucks account for 18.5% of vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents. Pickup trucks account for a significant portion of fatal traffic accidents, even though other vehicles are more popular. Some analysts believe that Missouri pickup truck fatalities are related to the increased risk over rollover in a pickup truck accident.

Missouri rollover accidents cause a disproportionate number of traffic accident fatalities. Certain factors increase the risk of rollover accidents. Pickup trucks are more likely to rollover than passenger cars like coupes or sedans. Rollovers are more likely to occur in single vehicle accidents. Rollovers may occur when a driver overcorrects after traveling off the roadway. Avoiding these factors when possible may prevent a fatal Missouri rollover accident.

October 24, 2011

St. Charles Car Accident Kills New Mexico Woman

A New Mexico woman died in a St. Charles Missouri car accident on October 23, 2011 at 2:40pm. Three other people suffered injuries St. Charles Missouri SUV accident.

The St. Charles single vehicle car accident occurred on eastbound I-70 near Wentzville Parkway as Terry Taylor of Espanola, New Mexico drove a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban. Taylor suffered a medical condition while driving. The Suburban swerved off the left side of the roadway, then swerved off the right side of the roadway. The Surburban crashed into a fence off the roadway and overturned.

53 year old occupant Rebecca Taylor died in the St. Charles rollover car accident. She was pronounced by Dr. Anthony Schultz at St. Joseph Health Center West. Driver Terry Taylor, 46, was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri with serious injuries. Two other occupants – Patricia Taylor, 43, and Gary T. Jett, 29 – suffered minor injuries and were transported to St. Joseph Health Center East in St. Charles, Missouri by St. Charles County ambulance.

St. Charles County Missouri is one of the most populated counties in the State of Missouri. A number of cities are in St. Charles County ; St. Charles, O’Fallon, St. Peters, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and West Alton are all located in the county. St. Charles County car accident lawsuits are often heard at the Circuit Court of St. Charles County.

When car accident victims are injured outside of their home state, they may be confused about where to file a car accident lawsuit. A state court may only make binding rulings on people connected to the state in a meaningful way (e.g. state residents, businesses doing business in the state, etc). If the defendant has nothing to do with a state, the state court cannot be enforced against the defendant. For example, a New Mexico court cannot create enforceable rulings against a Missourian with no connection to the state. If a New Mexico resident wants to sue a Missouri resident after a Missouri car accident, the New Mexico resident should file the lawsuit in Missouri’s courts. The New Mexico resident would be advised to obtain legal counsel from a Missouri personal injury attorney, since a local attorney will be familiar with the laws of the state.

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October 15, 2011

Fiery Lincoln County Missouri Car Crash Kills Moscow Mills Woman

Kimberlee A. Harper, 41, of Moscow Mills, Missouri was killed in a Lincoln County Missouri car accident on October 12, 2011 at 1:15pm. The deadly Missouri single car accident occurred when she crashed head-on into the concrete entrance of the Mallard Point subdivision. The 2001 Ford van that Harper drove overturned and caught fire.

Harper was pronounced dead at the scene of the Missouri van accident by Lincoln County Medical Examiner Robert Shramek. Harper’s van was totaled as well. No one else was injured according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The crash report did not indicate how or why Harper crashed into the subdivision entrance.

Some people instinctively blame the driver in a Missouri single vehicle traffic accident. However, a single vehicle accident may actually be caused by Missouri defective roads. Missouri’s public roadways must be designed and maintained safely, in accordance with standards released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).

Proper road design is crucial for preventing car accidents. A single Missouri defective street may cause multiple accidents. If a road lacks a shoulder, malfunctioning vehicles may not be able to pull off the roadway entirely and become vulnerable to collisions. If an intersection lacks a traffic control device (e.g. a stoplight, a yield sign, etc.) but has a great deal of traffic, drivers may collide in their confusion.

Inadequate lighting is another dangerous defect. Drivers may not be able to see traffic control devices, road obstructions, or pedestrians in poorly lit areas. Defective lighting may cause an accident by making it difficult for drivers to see where they would like to turn. Drivers may not see their desired street or driveway until they are very close. If the drivers slow to take the turn, they may take a following vehicle by surprise. If the drivers attempt the turn without slowing, they may not be able to control their turn.

Obtaining compensation after a Missouri defective road car accident may be complex. Municipal, state, and federal government agencies may be liable for the defective road. The doctrine of sovereign immunity means that government entities are immune from lawsuits unless they specifically waived that immunity. Many government entities allow lawsuits against them, but require administrative proceedings beforehand. Each agency may have its own administrative requirements and deadlines. Accident victims should consult with a Missouri car accident attorney to make sure their options are not limited.

October 8, 2011

St. Louis County Multivehicle Accident Kills Hazelwood Girl

An 11 year old from Hazelwood, Missouri died in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident on October 8, 2011 at 4:20pm. The Saint Louis County multivehicle accident occurred on I-170, near Missouri Route 115. A Hazelwood teen and a Florissant adult were seriously injured in the accident as well.

The St. Louis County Missouri multivehicle accident began as 16 year old Elizabeth J. Campanella of Hazelwood travelled off the left side of the interstate in a 2000 Nissan Maxima, crashing into the median cable barrier. The Nissan rotated into the path of a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer driven by 36 year old Grace T. Matney of Florissant. The Maxima and the Blazer collided. James M. Vanderiet of O’Fallon slammed into the rear of the Blazer in a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu.

11 year old occupant Katerina M. Campanella passed away in the St. Louis County Missouri car accident. Emergency personnel pronounced her fatality at the scene of the accident. Two of the drivers in the Missouri multivehicle accident were seriously injured. The teenaged driver Campanella was taken by Arch Helicopter to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Matney was taken by Abbott Ambulance to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.

Determining liability in a Missouri multivehicle car accident is complex. The degree of fault may not be as apparent as in single- or two-vehicle accidents. Investigators must answer questions such as: Which vehicles collided first? Was the second collision an uncontrollable result of the first collision? Is there more than one driver at fault for the collision? To discover the answer to these questions, investigators will study clues such as skid marks and vehicle contact points. Investigators may question witnesses, but witnesses may not have viewed the entire accident from beginning to finish. Investigators may question the drivers and occupants of the vehicles involved, but some of those parties may have difficulty recalling the details of the accident. The act of piecing together the accident for the court is imperfect.

Anyone who is involved in a Missouri multi-vehicle accident needs skilled legal representation. An experienced Missouri car accident lawyer will know how to study the facts of your collision to support your claim for compensation. If you are injured in the accident, the attorney will fight for your compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one was killed in the accident, the attorney will navigate the Missouri wrongful death lawsuit so you can focus on the grieving process.

September 17, 2011

Head-on Collision in Osage County Missouri Kills One, Injures Seven

A deadly Osage County Missouri car accident killed one Missourian and injured an additional seven people. The Missouri head on car accident occurred on September 17, 2011 at 3:20pm on U.S. Highway 63.

The fatal Missouri head on car collision occurred as Loretta J. Thompson of Fulton, Missouri crossed the centerline of US-63. Thompson’s 2004 Chevrolet crashed head on into a 2004 Pontiac driven by Kraig J. Walker of Eugene, Missouri. The collision stopped Walker’s vehicle on the roadway. However, Thompson’s vehicle rotated across the centerline and drove off the roadway. The vehicle crashed into a road ditch, ejecting a passenger.

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Two of her occupants – Mariah N. Buchholz, 9, and Billy J. Buchholz, 57 – were seriously injured. Walker was seriously injured as well. Walker’s four occupants – Christopher A. Welch, 28, Taylor R. Fierce, 21, Frederick R. Moore, 23, and Matthew S. Evans, 19 – suffered moderate injuries in the Missouri head on car crash. The injured parties were transported to Capital Region Hospital or University Hospital in Columbia.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 6,000 passenger cars are involved in fatal front impact car crashes each year. The sheer volume of fatal Missouri head on collisions speak to their potential for serious injury and death.

Many head on collisions occur as one vehicle crosses the centerline of the roadway into oncoming traffic. Drivers may cross the centerline because they are engaged in dangerous driving distractions in Missouri. Distracting activities like texting, changing radio stations, eating, and adjusting GPS settings drag the drivers’ attention away from safe driving. Distracted drivers may drift out of their lane without even realizing it. Drivers may cross the centerline while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Drugs and alcohol distort a driver’s perception and ability to respond to the environment. An intoxicated driver may be too impaired to avoid a deadly Missouri head on car accident.

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July 11, 2011

Investigation Continues After Fatal Benton County Accident

58-year-old Ellon Stradford of Lincoln, Missouri lost her life in a Benton County Missouri multivehicle accident on July 11, 2011 in the afternoon. There is no arrest information, but the Missouri State Highway Patrol indicated that an investigation continues.

The accident began as Stradford drove northbound on US-65, north of Sterett Creek. Timothy B. Underwood of Collins, Missouri and Carmen L. Henke of Sedalia, Missouri drove southbound. Stradford failed to negotiate a curve in her 2007 Ford, crossing the center of the roadway. Stradford slammed into the 2006 Chevrolet driven by Underwood. The crash was nearly a Missouri front end collision. The impact created debris that hit the 2010 Ford driven by Henke.

Stradford was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Benton County Coroner Jim Reeser. Underwood was taken to St. John’s Hospital by the Staff of Life. Underwood was not wearing a seatbelt during the accident. Whether Stradford wore a safety device is unknown.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hundreds of Missourians die in car accidents each year. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were 878 fatalities in Missouri car accidents in 2009 alone. Fatal car accidents create tremendous and tragic loss for the state of Missouri.

Car accident fatalities are difficult for family members to deal with because they are sudden. Hard decisions become even more difficult to make in a state of grief. However, families must make difficult decisions when a loved one passes away. One decision that families are confronted with after an accident is whether to file a wrongful death claim.

The statute of limitations restricts the amount of time that a family has to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a Missouri car accident. Statutes of limitations are different in every state. Even within Missouri, the statute of limitations differs by the type of claim. For example, the statute of limitations period in which a family member could file a Missouri wrongful death claim may be shorter than the period in which a living accident victim could file a personal injury claim.

Grieving family members should seek a legal consultation about their rights to make an informed decision about filing a wrongful death claim before it is too late. After the statute of limitations tolls, the right to sue is extinguished.

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July 2, 2011

Two Marston Residents Killed in Stoddard County Missouri Crash

Two elderly residents from Marston, Missouri were killed in a fatal Missouri car accident this holiday weekend on July 2, 2011 at 12:17pm. The fatal Missouri car accident occurred on US-60 and MO-114 at Morehouse.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri car crash happened when Charlie S. Hammons pulled a 1998 Ford into the path of a 1996 Chevrolet driven by Bryian G. Brown. Brown’s Chevrolet slammed into Hammons’s Ford. The force of the collision pushed both vehicles off the roadway. Hammons was ejected from his vehicle during the accident, though he and the others involved wore seat belts. Both drivers were insured by State Farm.

93-year-old Hammons was transported by Air Evac to St. Francis Hospital for medical treatment. Nevertheless, he was pronounced dead by Cape Girardeau Coroner John Clifton at the hospital. 87-year-old occupant Essie P. Hammons was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Stoddard County Coroner Aaron Mathis. Teenaged occupant George D. Brown of New Madrid was moderately injured in the accident. An ambulance took him to Missouri Delta Medical Center.

Injured accident victims often wonder whether they can recover damages for their injuries if the driver at fault died during the accident. Is it possible to sue drivers for personal injuries from a Missouri car accident after they have passed away? The answer depends on whether your jurisdiction has passed a type of law called a “survival statute.” Survival statutes dictate that personal injury cases “survive,” even when a party does not.

Missouri statute §537.020 is Missouri’s survival statute. Statute §537.020 says that causes of action for personal injuries “shall not abate” because the defendant died. Rather the cause of action survives to a representative for the deceased defendant. The statute authorizes a probate court to appoint a personal representative for the deceased. Suing a deceased defendant is often referred to as “suing the estate of the deceased.”

The accident victim will not receive a lower judgment or settlement merely because the defendant has passed away. Missouri law dictates that “the liability and the measure of damages shall be the same as if such death or deaths had not occurred.” If the accident victim would have received a judgment of $25,000 against a living defendant, the accident victim would receive a $25,000 judgment against a deceased defendant.

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June 4, 2011

Double Fatality in Poplar Bluff Missouri Rollover Accident

A Missouri rollover accident resulted in the death of two Naylor, Missouri residents, including a 3-year-old. Two other people were injured. The Missouri rollover accident occurred on June 4, 2011 at 4:43pm on Business 67 just one mile south of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Robin R. Steele of Naylor, Missouri lost control of a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, sliding into opposing traffic. The Chevrolet crashed into a 1999 Ford F150 driven by Cleveland S. Koonce of Poplar Bluff, Missouri in the opposite direction. The force of the collision caused both vehicles to overturn.

A woman and child were killed in the Butler County Missouri rollover accident. Robin R. Steele, the 36-year-old Chevrolet driver, and 3-year-old occupant Jayden K. Baugus were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Butler County Coroner Jim Akers. Their next of kin have been notified. Trisha K. McGaughy, a 32-year-old Chevrolet occupant from Fairdealing, suffered serious injuries. Cleveland Koonce sustained moderate injuries. The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not report whether any driver or occupant wore a safety device during the accident.

Missouri rollover accidents are disproportionately fatal car accidents. Rollovers are less than 5% of car accidents in Missouri, yet they account for nearly 30% of Missouri traffic fatalities. The greatest contributor to serious injuries and fatalities from rollovers is a roof collapse. When a vehicle’s roof collapses in a rollover accident, safety features like air bags and seat belts can no longer protect the accident victims. As a result, surviving accident victims may suffer traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

Determining liability in a Missouri rollover accident is difficult because a number of parties may be responsible. A post-accident investigation may focus on a number of parties. Mechanics may be investigated for negligent work that could have made the vehicle more likely to overturn. Vehicle manufacturing companies may be investigated for potential manufacturing defects that made the vehicle too susceptible to rollover accidents. As in any multivehicle accident, a surviving driver will be held accountable for negligently operating a vehicle.

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May 14, 2011

St. Louis Woman Dies in Fatal Head On Car Accident

A St. Louis woman died in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident on northbound I-55 near Union Road. The St. Louis front impact car accident occurred on May 14, 2011 at 11:50pm.

Hai M. Pham, 46, drove the wrong way on northbound I-55 in a 2006 Toyota Sienna into oncoming traffic late Saturday night. Pham crashed head on into a 2000 Toyota Camry driven by John D. Casalone, 51.

Casalone died in the St. Louis Missouri front end collision. Casalone’s fatality was pronounced at the scene of the accident by Brian Torno of the Mehlville Fire Department near midnight. Casalone’s next of kin has been notified. Pham was seriously injured in the St. Louis Missouri front end accident. He was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Lemay ambulance. Neither of the men wore a safety device during the accident.

When a fatal car accident is caused by carelessness or misconduct, the accident victim’s family can file a successful wrongful death claim. Missouri wrongful death law creates classes of relatives who can bring a wrongful death suit for compensation. Class (1) is comprised of the spouses, the children, the lineal descendants such as grandchildren, and the parents of the deceased accident victim. Class (1) family members are the first relatives entitled to compensation after a wrongful death. If there are no class (1) relatives, then class (2) relatives may be entitled to compensation. Class (2) includes the deceased’s brothers and sisters and their descendants.

Relatives may recover compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, and the pain and suffering that the deceased endured from the onset of the accident until death. The family members of the accident victim may additionally recover the reasonable value of services, consortium, companionship and support that the deceased provided. Missouri wrongful death law is complex. Experienced legal representation is critical obtaining compensation after a loved one dies in an accident caused by carelessness.

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May 11, 2011

Pike County Pedestrian Accident Kills Curryville Boy

A Curryville man died in a Pike County Missouri pedestrian accident on May 11, 2011 at 6:10pm. The Missouri pedestrian accident occurred on Missouri Route M at Pike County Road 457.

Samuel E. Borntrager was killed in a Missouri pedestrian accident. The 12-year-old boy was from Curryville, Missouri. Borntrager attempted to cross rural Route M when he was struck by a 1989 Ford F150 pickup truck. The F150 was driven by James C. Bufford, a 66-year-old man from Curryville, Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not report any injuries for Bufford. Borntrager’s next of kin has been notified.

Thousands of pedestrians are killed each year in auto accidents. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimates that roughly 75,000 pedestrians are injured in auto accidents each year. The enormity of the damage caused by Missouri pedestrian accidents means that Missouri accident lawyers must be aware of the traffic ordinances and tort laws that affect the cases of their injured clients.

A pedestrian victim’s claim may be affected by the doctrine of comparative negligence. A pedestrian accident is occasionally the result of negligent behavior of both the driver and the pedestrian. According to the doctrine of comparative negligence, if the court finds the pedestrian is partially at fault for the accident, the court reduces the pedestrian’s damage award. The attorney for the negligent driver may raise the defense of comparative negligence and argue that the pedestrian victim was partially at fault for the accident. The driver’s attorney will argue that the pedestrian caused the accident by jaywalking or disobeying a traffic control device such as a stop sign. If the court agrees, the pedestrian’s damage award may be reduced by as much as 99% in Missouri.

Pedestrian accident victims need skilled plaintiff lawyers to represent them. A good Missouri accident plaintiff attorney will investigate the facts of the Missouri pedestrian accident to find evidence of the driver’s negligence. The plaintiff lawyer will argue that the driver was at fault for the accident, not the pedestrian.

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May 9, 2011

Quadruple Fatality of Rolla Residents in Miller County Accident

A Miller County Missouri car accident caused a quadruple fatality and injured 2 additional people on May 8, 2011 at 10:43am. The Missouri side impact car accident occurred on MO-42 at Hawken Cemetery Road.

22-year-old Murali Bottu, a resident of Rolla, Missouri, lost control of his 1997 Toyota Camry while driving westbound on MO-42. Bottu crossed the centerline of the roadway. Bottu then overcorrected and the Toyota flipped sideways on the road. A 2001 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Darren J. Denter struck Bottu’s sideways vehicle on the passenger side. The force of the Missouri side impact collision pushed both vehicles off the roadway. Both vehicles were totaled by the accident. The vehicles were towed from the scene of the accident.

Four young adult residents of Rolla, Missouri – all occupants in Bottu’s Toyota – were killed in the Missouri side impact car accident. 22-year-old Sri H. Chittury (from Visakhapatnam, India), 23-year-old Dheeraj Gudlawar (from Hyderabad, India), 21-year-old Srikanth Ravi (from Hyderabad, India) and 24-year-old Srupun Velumula (from Karimnagar, India) were all pronounced at the scene of the accident by Miller County Coroner Rick Callahan at 12:10pm. Driver Bottu was seriously injured in the accident. He was life flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia, Missouri for medical treatment. Driver Denter refused medical attention at the scene of the accident. Denter’s passenger, Robert E. Davis of Cedar Hill, was taken by Miller County ambulance to the Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, Missouri.

When a death is caused by negligence, carelessness, or misconduct, it constitutes a “wrongful death.” Missouri wrongful death statutes allow certain family members to recover whatever damages the accident victim could have “if death had not ensued” in the accident. For example, if the accident victim experienced pain and suffering as a result of the accident before passing away, certain members of his family could recover for that pain and suffering.

If the accident victim was an occupant, he is not barred from suing his driver. Status as a foreign citizen does not preclude recovery either. If a foreign citizen is the victim of a Missouri car accident, certain members of his family may still obtain compensation through Missouri wrongful death statutes.

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April 11, 2011

Osceola Missouri Motorcyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident

An Osceola, Missouri man died in a fatal Missouri motorcycle accident on April 10, 2011 at 5:14pm in Henry County, Missouri.

Terrence Y. Cashell, 49, drove a 2002 Harley Davidson on MO-13 in Henry County, Missouri on Sunday evening. Cashell was driving at the intersection of MO-13 and Northeast 400 Road when an unknown driver struck Cashell’s motorcycle with a 2001 Chevrolet. Cashell was ejected from the Harley Davidson in the Missouri motorcycle accident.

The unknown driver continued to drive after striking Cashell and left the scene of the accident. Cashell was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Henry County Coroner Dain Sisk. The Missouri motorcycle crash totaled the Harley Davidson.

Motorcycles are generally more dangerous than automobiles and trucks. If a motorcyclist is hit in a Missouri auto accident, the motorcycle provides little to no protection from the force of the collision. Extensive injuries may result from even low-speed motorcycle accidents. A collision that would be minor with an automobile becomes deadly with a motorcycle.

Missouri has enacted motorcycle safety laws to decrease motorcycle accident fatalities and Missouri motorcycle accident injuries. For example, motorcycle accidents may result in traumatic brain injury. In response to this risk, Missouri statute §302.020 requires that motorcycle drivers and passengers wear a helmet while operating on any highway in Missouri. The state government establishes guidelines and specifications for protective headgear that motorcyclists should wear. Anyone who violates §302.020 by operating or riding on a motorcycle without an appropriate helmet is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Three or more violations result in a class D felony.

Missouri statute §577.060 prohibits leaving the scene of a Missouri motorcycle crash. Leaving the scene of the accident is typically a class A misdemeanor. However, if the accident results in physical injury to another party, the violation becomes a felony. When the accident causes a death, a serious investigation may follow.

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April 4, 2011

Man Killed in Perry County Missouri Head-On Collision Between Two F150s

One man was killed and another man moderately injured in a Missouri front impact car accident when two F150s crashed on Route H in Perry County Missouri on April 4, 2011 at 8:07am.

Michael T. Tomkins, 39, of Herrin, Illinois was driving on Route H just .1 miles east of PCR 936 when his right wheel dropped off the side of the roadway. Tomkins overcorrected, causing the 1998 Ford F150 he drove to partially travel off the other side of the roadway. James E. Buck, 44, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri tried to swerve a 2004 Ford F150 off the roadway to avoid hitting Tomkins. Nevertheless, the two F150s collided in the Missouri front end collision, causing Buck’s vehicle to overturn.

Tomkins was pronounced dead at the scene by the Assistant Coroner at 8:45am. Buck was transported by the Perry County Ambulance to the Perry County Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries. Both of their vehicles were totaled. Tomkins was reportedly not wearing his safety device.

Missouri statute §307.178 currently requires that all drivers and front seat passengers wear a seat belt. The statute allows for secondary enforcement, meaning that law enforcement officers do not stop or detain anyone solely because of the seat belt law. Postal workers and agricultural workers are exempted from the law while performing their duties. People with a medical reason for not wearing their seat belt are also exempted from the law.

Missouri safety advocates have repeatedly pushed to change the law. MoDOT and the state transportation director want lawmakers to change §307.178 to allow primary enforcement. Primary enforcement would allow law enforcement to pull over cars in which some is not wearing a seatbelt. Safety advocates additionally want the law to require all passengers to wear a safety belt, not just front seat passengers.

Not wearing a seat belt greatly increases the risk of Missouri serious injuries and fatalities. According to MoDOT, 80% of Missouri teens that died in car accidents were not wearing a seat belt. Two thirds of Missouri car accident fatalities were people who were not wearing their seat belt. Only 76% of Missourians wear their seatbelt while driving – a rate that lags behind the national average. Wearing a seatbelt is key to preventing Missouri car accident injuries.

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March 2, 2011

Fatal Accident for Teenaged Girl from Cowgill, Missouri

A teenaged girl from Cowgill, Missouri lost her life in a tragic Missouri car accident in Caldwell County on the M-116, four miles east of Polo. The crash happened on the afternoon of Sunday, February 27 at 1:07pm.

Kasey L Bolling, age 16, lost control of her 1999 Ford Contour on the wet roadway. She skidded sideways into oncoming traffic and was involved in a side impact car accident on the front passenger-side by a 2009 Ford F-250 driven by Kevin T Smith, 47, of Polo, Missouri. Kasey was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by the Caldwell County Coroner Dana Brown.

Kevin Smith and his passenger, Parker Smith, 13, were moderately injured. They were taken to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri by the Caldwell County ambulance.

Kasey Bolling was wearing her safety device according to the investigating officers. Under Missouri statute §304.012, all operators of motor vehicles are required to use the highest degree of care when driving on Missouri roads and highways. Missouri state law additionally requires drivers to operate at a “rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person.” This means that when the road is slick from inclement weather, driving the speed limit may not necessarily equate to driving with the highest degree of care. In these cases, Missouri law requires operators to drive at a speed less than the applicable limit. Violating § 304.012 R.S.Mo. is a class B misdemeanor. When an accident is involved, the violation is a class A misdemeanor.

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February 2, 2011

One Fatality and Three Severely Injured in Texas County, Missouri Crash

The third week of January brought yet another tragic car accident to Texas County, Missouri. This wrongful death accident took place at 3:55 p.m. on January 19th on Route AW in Evening Shade, and was responded to by Troop G of the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gregory Williams, 53, was traveling Westbound in a 2002 Dodge truck when he failed to yield, striking the side of the 2001 Lincoln Navigator driven by Veronica Burke. Ms. Burke was traveling Northbound at the time of the crash. Other passengers in the Navigator included Brandon Burke, 24, Robert Belmontes, 12, and Marissa Belmontes, 5, all Plato residents. The Navigator traveled off the roadway, returned to the roadway, then overturned, finally coming to rest on its side in the road after ejecting all four passengers.

Ms. Burke was transported to Fort Leonard Wood Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 7:56 p.m. The other three victims were transported to the same hospital, where doctors examined them and determined they had all suffered serious injuries as a result of the car crash. None of the passengers in the Navigator were wearing safety devices at the time of the accident. Mr. Williams apparently suffered only minor injuries, and the investigation is still underway to determine whether his failure to yield was due to inattention, excessive speed, gross negligence, or another reason.

Although the reasons for this particular crash have not been determined, many crashes such as this occur when drivers are distracted by such things as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating and drinking, changing a radio station or using a GPS. More than 20 percent of all automobile crashes in the United States are caused by distraction, in one form or another. Over 6,000 people per year are killed due to driver distraction, and another half a million suffer minor to severe injuries. In fact, studies have shown using a cell phone can impair the driver’s ability to drive safely as much as having a .08 blood alcohol concentration.

Although many states are passing laws which will ban cell phone use or texting while driving, we still see accidents on a daily basis that could have been avoided if the driver had been paying attention. Hopefully the state legislatures in Missouri and other states will soon pass laws to ban usage of cellular devices without hands-free technology. Please contact your state representative today and express you concerns about cell phone usage and distracted driving.