A car’s driver suffered life-threatening injuries in a three-vehicle crash in Raleigh, North Carolina (NC), on the afternoon of January 25, 2018. The wreck happened at the intersection of Millbrook Road and Dixon Drive, and an SUV driver has been charged with causing the collision.
Raleigh police told reporters that the man behind the wheel of the SUV, Thomas Binford, ran a red light on Millbrook before hitting the car broadside. The force of the T-bone crash flipped the car onto its side, and rescuers had to cut off the car’s roof to free 26-year-old Kevin Manbeck from inside. A minivan also hit the SUV from behind.
The man from the car went to WakeMed in critical condition, while the woman driving the minivan escaped injuries.
Police filed a preliminary charge for failing to stop at a red light against the SUV driver. The relevant traffic law, section 158(b)(2)a of the North Carolina General Statutes, straightforwardly states, “When a traffic signal is emitting a steady red circular light controlling traffic approaching an intersection, an approaching vehicle facing the red light shall come to a stop and shall not enter the intersection.”
Drivers should never need to see that bedrock rule of road safety spelled out in such detail, but thousands of red light running crashes happen each year. The problem has been so bad that U.S. government agencies and health care groups such as the American Trauma Society have come together occasionally to sponsor a National Stop on Red Week. Despite such initiatives, failing to obey stop lights often ranks as one of the top-two causes of fatal wrecks from year to year.
News reports do not include any information that explains why the SUV driver ignored the red light on Millbrook Road in Raleigh. Possible scenarios include speeding too fast to come to a stop in time, operating with faulty brakes or taking his eyes and mind off the road ahead. Even a few seconds of distraction could be long enough to travel a quarter mile or more while going at the posted speed limit of 45 mph on Millbrook.
Whatever the reason reveals itself to be, the outcome will remain the same. A car’s driver nearly lost his life because an SUV’s driver missed or refused to obey a red light. My Carolina personal injury law firm colleagues and I hope the severely injured man makes a full and rapid recovery.