Two Durham residents were killed Wednesday night when the car they were riding in was struck by another vehicle. The deadly accident happened on the Durham Freeway near TW Alexander Drive.
According to North Carolina Highway Patrol, the two victims were sitting in the backseat of a Honda Civic when a Toyota Camry merged into the lane the Honda was traveling. The sudden merge caused the Honda to swerve off the road and smash into a tree. The Toyota crashed into a fence which was on the median.
The two victims died at the scene of the crash. The driver of the Honda and the front-seat passenger were transported to Duke ER where they both are listed in stable condition. The driver of the Toyota was also transported to the emergency room with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries. The three surviving victims are also from Durham.
Highway Patrol is continuing their investigation into the fatal crash and have not said if there will be charges filed against either of the drivers.
It is critical to remember when driving and changing lanes to always make sure that there is a clear area for you pull into the other lane. The North Carolina driver’s handbook clearly gives instructions on how this should be done. The handbook stresses that every driver who is about to change lanes on a highway take the following steps:
- Check not only the lane you are going to move into but also the lane beyond that to make sure another vehicle is not attempting to drive into the same spot you are;
- Check your rear-view and all side mirrors to make sure the area is clear of other vehicles;
- Check the blind spot areas in your car for other vehicles which may be in the other lane;
- Use your turn signal to let other drivers know of your intent; and
- Change lanes.
Determining the at-fault driver depends on the defenses that may apply in a car accident case. While police continue their investigation to make that determination in this crash, two families will be making funeral and burial arrangements for the two victims who were killed. These expenses, along with loss of income if the dead victims were the primary financial providers for their families, can cause heavy financial burdens. These families should contact a skilled North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse they may have.
If you have questions regarding the loss of a loved one, our Carolinas injury firm offers a free wrongful death guide for families who have lost a loved one in an accident. The guide covers topics such as the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and who can be appointed as personal representative.