Injuries suffered in a collision between the SUV in which she was riding and a dump truck at the intersection of NC 55 and McCrimmon Parkway in Cary, North Carolina (NC), proved fatal for a 15-year-old girl. She had been traveling to high school with her brother and a friend on the morning on September 16, 2014, when the crash happened. The friend was driving.
After spending a week in a coma, the girl lost her life on September 23.
Investigators later determined that the accident occurred because the 17-year-old behind the wheel of the SUV failed to yield right of way to the construction vehicle while attempting a left-hand turn. Both drivers had yellow lights, but turning cars must always give way to vehicles going straight. Evidence also indicated that the truck driver slammed on his breaks in an attempt to avoid the collision, but the speed, weight of his truck and its load of gravel, and the small braking distance created by the unsafe turn attempt did not allow him to stop in time.
The two boys in the SUV also sustained serious injuries, and the at-fault driver has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
Law enforcement officials who spoke with a newspaper reporter from the Cary News suggested that the teenaged driver may have been distracted. The tendency of young, inexperienced drivers to take more risks than individuals who have driven for many years may also have played a role.
Regardless of how the criminal case gets resolved, the charge represents officials' strong belief that the SUV driver has liability for causing the fatal wreck. The evidence used to support that contention can also be brought to bear in a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased victim's parents choose to pursue one. My Carolina plaintiffs' law firm colleagues and I know that receiving monetary compensation can never make up for losing a loved one due to another person's negligence or recklessness. However, the financial impacts from the death of a child can be unsupportable.
We send our condolences to the family of the young teen who lost her life.