Two Canadian tourists lost their lives after an out-of-control SUV slammed into their minivan as they traveled down I-79 through Lewis County, West Virginia (WV). The fatal head-on collision occurred on the afternoon of February 25, 2016, and left two other passengers in the van injured.
Police told reporters that the at-fault SUV driver had been speeding on wet pavement when he lost control of his vehicle and ran across the highway median. The deceased victims were the minivan's driver, who was killed on impact, and front seat passenger, who initially survived with critical injuries but later died at a hospital.
On the day after the deadly crash, it remained unclear whether charges for driving too fast for road conditions or causing a fatal traffic accident would be filed against the man behind the wheel of the SUV. Even if criminal consequences do not materialize, the real-life tragedy cannot be undone. The families of the people killed and the injured minivan passengers may have strong grounds for filing claims for compensation against the at-fault driver in civil court.
Drivers must slow down when roads become wet or icy. Regardless of the posted speed limit, no one can go faster than the speed at which their car or truck's tires will maintain secure contact with the road. Longer and more-controlled braking are also necessary on slick pavement. Failing to take these precautions can constitute negligence or recklessness and make a person liable for compensating anyone harmed by a resulting crash.