A head-on collision east of Charlotte, North Carolina (NC), on the night of August 24, 2017, took two lives, sent one woman to the hospital with critical injuries and inflicted minor injuries on a third driver. The deadly wreck happened on the Northeast Connector at Moss Springs Road in Albemarle.
According to news reports, the 27-year-old male driver of a Dodge crossed the double yellow lines separating the two lanes of the Northeast Connector. He collided with a Kia, sending it spinning into a following Chevy pickup.
Both the driver who crossed the center line and the woman behind the wheel of the Kia died. The at-fault driver’s mother was airlifted to Charlotte in critical condition, and the man driving the pickup was checked out at the scene.
Investigators estimate that the Dodge was traveling at 70 mph when it struck the Kia. The posted speed limit on the Northeast Connector near Moss Springs Road is 55 mph. The highway enters a log curve at the T-intersection, making it easier to leave one’s lane when exceeding the speed limit.
During 20212, one of the last years for which complete data is available, 10,219 people died in speeding-related crashes on U.S. roads and highways. North Carolina saw 440 of those deaths. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) researchers who compiled the statistics considered a speeding-related crash to be any one where “the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense or if an officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit” contributed.
An online factsheet published later by NHTSA lists the top four negative consequences of speeding as
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control,
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment.
- Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger [and]
- Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries.
This tragedy in Albemarle, NC, appears to illustrate many of these terrible potential outcomes from speeding. If the final crash report substantiates the initial finding that the driver of the Dodge was exceeding the speed limit, the family of the innocent woman who lost her life would have strong grounds for filing wrongful death claims. Even though the at-fault driver also died, his insurance policy will remain active until all legal matters are resolved. Speaking with a caring and dedicated Carolina wrongful death attorney will help the grieving family members understand and exercise their legal options.