A five-vehicle wreck in Black Mountain, North Carolina (NC), sent seven people to hospitals with serious-to-life-threatening injuries. The crash is being blamed on a driver who exited the interstate at an unsafe speed, and one of the innocent victims may never walk again.
The nearly fatal crash happened at around 7 pm on February 27, 2017. According to police and witnesses, the incident started when the at-fault driver pulled off I-40 at the exit to US 70/East State Street. That man slammed into another car at the intersection with NC 9/Montreat Road, and the two cars spun into another three vehicles. Significant damage also occurred to a hardware store located near the intersection.
The most badly injured person was identified as a soccer and cross country coach for local Montreat College. He suffered a severed spinal cord, two collapsed lungs, fractured vertebrae in his lower back, a broken arm and bleeding from his brain. Doctors are not optimistic that he will ever walk again.
Police charged the man who caused the wreck with reckless driving. Under the laws of North Carolina, a driver is considered reckless when he or she drives " carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others" and/or " without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property." News reports do not state how fast the at-fault driver was going.
The dangers of speeding are hard to overstate. A comprehensive analysis of speed-related crashes conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration revealed that "in 2012, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, and 10,219 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes."
Fortunately, no one died as a result of this wreck in Black Mountain. The people injured by the reckless driver will be burdened with significant medical bills and other crash-related expenses, however. The coach who may go through life paralyzed, in particular, will face lifelong health care needs that no one could plan for ahead of time or afford on their own.
Working with an experienced Carolina personal injury lawyer will help the crash victims fight for adequate settlements and exercise all their options for securing coverage under underinsured motorist provisions of their own insurance policies.