It doesn't take a big mistake to result in big consequences. A moment's inattention behind the wheel or a single bad decision could dramatically alter the lives of many people.
This was apparently the case on an Ohio roadway earlier this month. A car accident occurred approximately 40 miles south of Youngstown, where the driver of a Jeep Cherokee drifted over the centerline and into oncoming traffic.
The driver struck an SUV carrying two adults and seven children. The SUV was driven by a 39-year-old man; the other adult was his 27-year-old wife. Neither of the adults was wearing a seatbelt. Of the children, only three were using proper restraints.
The impact caused fatal injuries to both adults in the SUV. One of the children was also killed, an 11-year-old who had been riding in the SUV's cargo area. The other six children were injured and taken to area hospitals; their conditions were not immediately clear.
The driver of the Jeep was treated for non-life threatening injuries. So was her 9-month-old child.
Although it seems likely that seatbelt use played a role in the severity of this accident, it is important to consider how the accident began. If the media reports are accurate, then it is likely that the injuries in the SUV were caused by another driver's failure to maintain a lane. Police say their investigation is ongoing; more information on the accident may be available in the future. The driver of the Jeep has not been charged with a crime.
The victims of this accident and their families are likely facing a very difficult road ahead. Often, in accidents such as this one, lost wages and medical bills can be a crushing burden on a family. In cases where the fault lies with another party, it is the role of the personal injury suit to allow victims to seek suitable compensation.
Source: ABC News, "6 Killed in 2 Separate Ohio Car Crashes" No author given, Jan. 20, 2014