Driving late at night on a Missouri highway without a median can present a challenge for many drivers. Obstacles such as animals, pedestrians or even other vehicles may be more difficult to see, and a driver can easily be surprised and lose control of his or her vehicle. Without a median between the two directions of travel, making a mistake can easily lead to head-on collisions, or near head-on collisions.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is currently investigating the cause of a crash that occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. on a recent Saturday night. The preliminary report issued by troopers indicates that a vehicle occupied by a 22-year-old driver was traveling west on Highway 156 that night. At the same time, a 28-year-old man was traveling in the opposite direction on the same highway.

For reasons not yet known, the westbound vehicle strayed over the center line into the path of the eastbound van and slammed into it. The driver of the van succumbed at the scene to fatal injuries suffered in the impact. The driver believed to be responsible for the crash suffered injuries described only as serious. He was flown to a hospital in the area and at last report was in serious condition.

As the injured driver recovers from his injuries, and the family of the deceased driver struggles to come to terms with their loss, the investigation continues. It is not known whether criminal charges are being considered in connection with the wreck. The family of the victim may file a wrongful death claim against the other driver, seeking damages typically associated with head-on collisions or near head-on collisions. If the court is satisfied that the man’s death was due to the negligence of another, monetary damages may be awarded to help with the unexpected expenses incurred by the family.

Source: heartlandconnection.com, “Fatal accident outside of La Plata“, Jan. 25, 2015