Head-on collisions can be both deadly accidents and difficult puzzles. The drivers of both vehicles often die in the collision, and understanding the causes of the accident is not easy when one or both principal witnesses are dead. A recent head-on collision on U.S. Highway 501 near Scotland, N.C. demonstrates both aspects of head-on collisions.
The accident report from the North Carolina Highway Patrol says that the chain of events began when a southbound Ford Focus crossed the centerline on U.S. Highway 501 and collided head-on with a Hyundai Santa Fe, a small SUV. Two teen-aged girls were riding in the Ford, and both died at the scene. The driver of the Hyundai, a thirty-year old from Laurinburg, and three children ages 8, 4 and 2, all suffered injuries. The man and the children were taken to Scotland Memorial Hospital for treatment, but the nature of their injuries and their medical condition were not disclosed.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said that it is continuing to investigate the accident. NCHP investigators are no doubt studying road and weather conditions that many have caused the Ford to cross the center line or prevented one or both vehicles from stopping before the collision. They may also be investigation whether either or both drivers was incapacitated by alcohol or drugs.
Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a similar accident may wish to investigate making a claim for damages. Identifying the party at fault may be difficult before the highway patrol finishes its investigation. At this point, the families of the two teenagers may have claims for wrongful death if the investigation shows that the driver of the Hyundai was negligent. On the other hand, the driver of the Hyundai and the three children may have claim against the driver of the Ford Focus if the investigation demonstrates that she was at fault.
Some people may feel that retaining an attorney at this early stage of the investigation may be premature, but an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to undertake a more focused investigation into the cause of the accident. Such an investigation may be very helpful in supporting claims against the driver of the Hyundai or against the driver of the Ford.