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Like head-on collisions, minor crashes can also be deadly

There is often no way to predict who will live or die in an accident. Far too many Missouri residents suffer fatal injuries in tragedies such as head-on collisions. Even a so-called minor accident, however, can result in someone's death.

An off-duty police officer here in Missouri was recently involved in a seemingly minor accident with another vehicle. After 14 years with her police department, it will most likely not surprise anyone to know that she immediately got out of her vehicle to check on the other driver. She was unaware of the fact that a speeding car was barreling toward her.

Preliminary reports indicate that the driver of that speeding car may have been attempting to avoid the wreckage from the minor crash when she crashed into the St. Louis County police sergeant. Emergency medical personnel rushed the victim to a hospital in the area. Despite the efforts of doctors and hospital staff, she succumbed to her injuries just a few hours after the initial crash.

The woman who was driving the car that struck the officer is apparently cooperating with police. The investigation is ongoing. Officials suspect that it could be some time before it is known what charges, if any, she will face in connection with the victim's death.

In the meantime, the deceased victim's family, friends and the community are all mourning the officer's loss. In time, the family may begin to feel the financial stress associated with her death, even with the probability of receiving workers' compensation death benefits as a consequence of the tragedy. Regardless of whether any criminal charges are filed, the family may choose to file a wrongful death claim against the driver whose vehicle hit the victim. Proving negligence on the driver's part could result in an award of damages similar to those awarded in head-on collisions and other fatal motor vehicle crashes caused by the negligence of another party. 

Source:, "Off-duty officer struck and killed by vehicle near Jamestown Mall", Roche Madden, Aug. 24, 2015

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