A head-on collision on U.S. 421 just south of the North Carolina-Tennessee border took the lives of two parents and their infant in a car. The fatal wreck occurred on the night of May 16, 2015. The driver of a pickup truck involved in the deadly crash appears to have been speeding recklessly while rounding a curve just prior to the collision. He also lost his life.
Investigators told reporters that the pickup reached a speed of 90 mph and went left of the center line close to the town of Zionville. It is unclear whether alcohol, drugs, distraction or driver fatigue played any roles in setting the stage for the crash.
More than anything, this tragedy highlights the dangers of exceeding posted speed limits. All roads are designed with maximum safe speeds in mind. The speed limits that get posted on signs tend to be 10 mph to 20 mph lower than the upper limits, but even minor mistakes get amplified when a driver goes too fast than is generally safe. To state that another way, a person driving at 60 mph has more time to recover from a lapse in attention or a bit of sloppy steering than does someone going 80. Pushing the safety envelope on a road or highway demands perfect performance behind the wheel.
Few, if any drivers, meet that standard of perfection. Therefore, the only responsible and respectful option is to observe speed limits. Doing that makes staying in one's own lane and avoiding head-on collisions that end in preventable tragedies much easier.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and relatives of the Tennessee family who lost their lives. We can only hope that anyone who learns of this fatal crash heeds the lesson it teaches about the dangers of reckless speeding.