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The responsible parties in head-on collisions do not always live

When Missouri residents become the victims of a devastating accident such as a head-on collision, they naturally want the person responsible to be held accountable. However, the responsible parties in head-on collisions do not always survive the crashes. Even though this means that there will not be any criminal proceedings, that does not mean that the victims and their families will be unable to seek restitution, justice and closure.

For example, the Missouri State Highway Patrol recently responded to a crash that ultimately involved four vehicles. An SUV was traveling north on Highway 47 when it abruptly left its lane and sideswiped a vehicle in the southbound lane. That impact threw the victim car into a ravine.

The SUV then slammed head-on into another vehicle, which was also in the southbound lane. That impact caused one of the SUV's tires to come off and hit a third vehicle. Fortunately, no one in the third car suffered any injuries. The occupants of the other three vehicles were not so lucky.

The drivers of the two vehicles that were hit in the southbound lane both suffered moderate injuries for which they were transported for treatment. Their current conditions are not known. The driver of the SUV died at the scene. Her passenger, who was also her husband, was severely injured, and at last report was considered to be in critical condition.

Officials are still attempting to ascertain the cause of the accident, which they do not believe was due to impairment. Even though no criminal charges will be filed against the deceased SUV driver, that does not mean that officials will not complete their investigation just as they would in head-on collisions where the driver believed to be responsible survives. It also does not mean that the two moderately injured drivers do not have the right to file personal injury claims against the driver's estate. Successfully proving negligence on their part could result in an award of damages that could help the victims with the financial losses sustained in the aftermath of this tragedy.

Source:, "Fatal crash north of Union involving 4 vehicles", Katherine Hessel, Feb. 4, 2016

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