A rear-end collision involving a disabled vehicle in Nash County, North Carolina (NC), took the lives of a grandmother, mother and daughter. The fatal wreck happened on the morning of September 1, 2017, near the intersection of U.S. 264 and NC 581 in the town of Bailey.
According to news reports, the family members broke down in the left lane of eastbound U.S. 264, which is also known as Deane Street. Shortly after that, a following pickup truck driver changed lanes to get around a slower-moving camper with a towed trailer and crashed into the back of the family’s car.
The rear-end collision killed all three people in the disabled vehicle at the scene. Troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol declined to file charges against the pickup driver. That does not necessarily mean that he could not be held responsible for settling insurance claims related to the deadly rear-end collision.
The law that prevents drivers from stopping on a highway contains an exception for when “the vehicle is disabled to such an extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the vehicle upon the paved or main traveled portion of the highway or highway bridge.”
Further, the statute that lays out when a driver can legally change lanes specifies that a person must “first see that such movement can be made in safety.” Since the woman driving the car that got hit from behind may have experienced a sudden and unexpected mechanical failure, she might have had no choice but to remain briefly in the left lane of U.S. 264. Anyone approaching from behind would then have a duty to spot the stalled car and do what was possible to avoid a crash. The descriptions of the wreck do make it sound like the breakdown and fateful lane change happened nearly at the same time.
Gathering the evidence needed to substantiate that scenario will require time and expertise. A caring and dedicated Carolina wrongful death attorney would work on behalf of the relatives of the grandmother, mother and daughter to make the case. Recovering from a tragedy like this one in Nash County, NC, will be difficult, so enlisting the assistance of a legal ally who will explore options for securing financial compensation and monetary damages could make the process easier.