Many highways here in Missouri and elsewhere do not have medians between the opposing lanes of travel. The only thing keeping drivers in their lanes is a line along the center of the roadway. Unfortunately, many head-on collisions happen when a driver crosses this line into oncoming traffic.
A recent crash on U.S. Highway 61 is being blamed on one driver for failing to stay on his side of the road. Preliminary reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol indicate that the 44-year-old driver was heading north on the highway at the time of the accident. A pickup truck was heading toward his vehicle from the opposite direction when his vehicle strayed into the path of the pickup and slammed head-on into it.
The 53-year-old driver of the pickup truck succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene. A 54-year-old passenger in that vehicle survived, but was flown to a hospital in the area with serious injuries. A 29-year-old passenger was fortunate to suffer only moderate injuries for which he was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment. The driver of the northbound vehicle also had to be flown to a hospital after suffering serious injuries. The current conditions of the accident survivors are unknown.
Until the investigation into the accident is concluded, it may not be known whether any charges will be filed. The family of the deceased driver and the surviving victims retain the right to file lawsuits in a Missouri civil court against the other driver regardless of whether he faces criminal charges. As would be the case in other civil lawsuits filed in the aftermath of head-on collisions, successfully litigating these claims by proving negligence could result in damage awards.
Source: kfvs12.com, “1 killed, 2 flown to hospital after head-on crash in New Madrid“, Nichole Cartmell, July 15, 2016