A single-vehicle crash in Iredell County, North Carolina (NC), sent two people to the hospital with serious injuries and left a female passenger dead. The deadly fixed-object collision happened on Celeste Eufola Road outside of Statesville on the morning of February 23, 2017.
According to police investigators, the driver of a white sedan lost control of her car for unknown reasons and ran off the right side of the road. She then overcorrected her steering, crossed to the left shoulder and hit a tree. The driver and a rear seat passenger were transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where one of them remained in critical condition the following day.
The 26-year-old woman riding in the front right-hand seat died at the scene. A Good Samaritan who ran out from his house upon hearing the crash cut her free from her seat belt and attempted to provide first aid, but she succumbed to her injuries before emergency medical personnel arrived.
Data collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration revealed that overcorrecting/oversteering was the seventh-leading cause of fatal single-vehicle accidents during 2014. Appearing ahead of overcorrection on the list were
- Driving under the influence
- Running off the road/Failing to maintain a proper lane
- Failing to yield right of way
- Distracted driving
- Operating in a careless manner
Almost all of those negligent or reckless behaviors could lead a driver to jerk his or her steering wheel too hard in one direction when a crash seems imminent. Overcorrection is rarely an isolated action, and it often leads to injuries and deaths in a wreck the driver had hoped to avoid.
Currently, the driver of the car that ran off the road in Iredell County faces a single misdemeanor charge of causing a death while operating a motor vehicle. The relevant state statute specifies that causing a crash-related homicide should be considered a misdemeanor when the at-fault driver does not intend to kill anyone, is not drunk or under the influence of drugs, but does commit a traffic violation that results in a wreck.
Both the surviving passenger and the family of the young woman who lost her life should have strong grounds for filing insurance claims against the automobile insurance policy of the driver. Even if the victims know the at-fault driver well, seeking compensation and damages for personal injuries and a wrongful death is appropriate. Working with a discrete, empathetic and experienced plaintiff’s lawyer will help keep everyone focused on dealing with the insurance company instead of making things overly personal.