A rear-end collision on U.S. 1 just south of the Moore County, North Carolina (NC), town of Vass sent six people to hospitals with injuries. Five of the injured people had been in an SUV that was struck from behind by a pickup truck, and three of the innocent victims were teenagers.
The most-severely injured person was a 14-year-old girl who got thrown from the SUV by the force of the impact. According to a report from television station WCNC, the pickup driver caused the wreck by accelerating out of a U-turn on the highway. Investigators continue reconstructing the crash that occurred at around 7 pm on Sept. 27, 2017, but authorities have announced their intention to charge the man driving the pickup.
The U-turn appears to be legal, but its execution may have violated section 20-153(b) of the North Carolina General Statutes. That law states, in part, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any intersection shall … after entering the intersection, … leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction upon the roadway being entered.” A U-turn can neither cut off other drivers nor create crash risks for drivers who have already cleared the intersection.
Another possible traffic offense could have come under NCGS section 20-152(a), which is North Carolina’s statute related to following too closely. That subchapter of state law reads, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
The teen ejected from the SUV was flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte in critical condition. The two adults and two other children in the SUV suffered serious injuries. All probably have strong grounds for filing personal injury claims against the insurance policy of the pickup truck driver. This is true even though a specific detail reported in news accounts indicates that the girl who sustained life-threatening injuries was not wearing a seat belt. North Carolina law does not allow the defendant in a legal action for personal injury to seek dismissal of claims by a plaintiff just because the injured person failed to use a seat belt.
Partnering with an experienced Carolina personal injury lawyer will help the victims of this rear-end collision on U.S. 1 south of Vass deal with insurance company representatives who may try to blame them in some way for causing their own suffering. An attorney will also help the parents of the injured children understand how to act as the legal representatives of their young dependents.