Freeway traffic in Washington travels at high rates of speed. This high speed often magnifies the effect of what may otherwise have been only a minor collision. A recent accident near the Spokane airport demonstrates this tragic effect.
According to the police report, a 62-year-old woman from Spokane was heading west in the middle lane of Interstate Highway 90 near the Spokane International Airport. The woman swerved to her right and hit the vehicle in the adjacent lane. This vehicle was being driven by a 21-year-old male from Clayton, Washington, who had a passenger in his vehicle.
A third vehicle was following the two cars that initially collided. The driver of this vehicle swerved in an effort to avoid the collision ahead of her. Her evasive maneuver was only partially successful, and she struck the front of the vehicle that initiated the chain-reaction.
The driver of the second vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, although media reports of the accident do not make clear what happened to his vehicle after the initial impact. The driver of the car that began the chain reaction, the driver of the vehicle that unsuccessfully attempted to avoid the collision, and the passenger in the second car all suffered injuries and were transported to area hospitals.
The police have neither implicated nor ruled out alcohol or drugs as a potential cause of the accident. However, the woman who was driving the car that swerved into the adjacent lane has been charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
The woman whose driving error appears to be the cause of the accident could be found liable for the injuries suffered by the survivors and for wrongful death damages suffered by the family of the deceased driver.
Those who have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.