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Wet Pavement and Speed Blamed for Fatal Head-On

Speeding, wet pavement, and a sharp curve on a two-lane rural highway combined to take two lives and leave a third person critically injured in Pender County, North Carolina (NC). The fatal head-on collision happened just before noon on October 8, 2017.



State Highway Patrol troopers said the driver of a Pontiac sedan was “traveling at an excessive speed” on Highway 210 near Currie when he lost control after passing the intersection with Borough Road. After sliding across the center line, he collided with a car coming from the opposite direction.

Both the speeding driver and his passenger died at the scene. The person behind the wheel of the other vehicle was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

No charges will be filed in relation to the deadly wreck on Highway 210 because the at-fault driver was killed. The family of the deceased passenger and the injured person who survived the crash may still have strong grounds for filing wrongful death and personal injury insurance claims, however.

Speeding around a curve, especially on wet pavement, constitutes negligence of the kind that makes a driver responsible for paying compensation and damages to the people he hurts or kills in a resulting collision. The driver at fault in this Pender County crash would not even have to have been speeding, as section 20-141(a) of the North Carolina General Statutes states only that “no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway or in a public vehicular area at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.”

A road sign along Highway 210 approaching Currie warns drivers to lower their speed to 45 mph before entering the curve where this fatal head-on occurred. Slowing down even further during or just after a rainstorm is also required to protects the lives and health of others. Wet pavement contributes to causing an average of 352,221 injuries and 4,488 deaths each year, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FWA). The major reason for this is that tires lose traction when even the thinnest layer of water coats the roadway. Driver must pay particular attention to their speed when tires lose their grip.

The victims of this head-on collision in Pender County may worry that the at-fault driver’s death will deny them their ability to file insurance claims. That is not true because insurance policies remain in effect until all legitimate claims are resolved. The process may be more complicated since the driver who lost control is no longer alive, but working with a dedicated and caring Carolina personal injury lawyer will help clear away obstacles.


Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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