Practicing personal injury law in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia for three decades can leave a person thinking he has seen every kind of automobile accident that can occur. A chain-reaction crash involving a county sheriff's deputy cruiser, a car parked in a house's attached garage and woman unloading groceries in Charleston, WV, on the night of November 30, 2014, proved that anything is possible when motor vehicles, people and obstacles are present.
According to television station WBOY, a Kanawha County deputy ran off the road near the intersection of Greenbrier Street and Hemingway Place, crashed through a fence and closed garage door, then rear-ended a parked car that jumped forward and hit a woman standing inside the structure. The sheriff's deputy sustained head injuries, and the woman also required hospital treatment for unspecified non-life-threatening injuries.
Reports did not include information on why the deputy lost control of his car. A full investigation will be need to determine whether he swerved to avoid another collision, experienced a medical emergency, became distracted behind the wheel or fell asleep near the end of a long shift. Each situation could leave him liable for causing the resulting property damage and injuries to the civilian.
Aside from those issues, the accident illustrates the almost infinite number and variety of risks to health and life posed by any loss of control by a driver. While cars and trucks hit buildings and other fixed objects -- ranging from trees and road signs to bridge supports -- fairly often, an emergency vehicle striking a car in the garage of a private residence, and then that second car injuring its recent driver or passenger, is almost beyond imaging.
Such a unique scenario cannot teach a specific lesson, but it can highlight how essential it is for every person behind of the wheel of every vehicle to maintain control at all times.