Wilmington Road Debris Can Put Road Users in Danger
Road debris is a danger at all times of the year, but the holidays pose certain unique risks, given the bulk of commerce that takes place, the excess traffic on the roads and the type of material being transported.
Recently, the Courier-Tribune reports on the damage and injuries which can be caused by improperly secured Christmas trees. Experts provided safety tips for drivers transporting Christmas trees. Road debris can be caused by many sources. A Wilmington car accident attorney can help victims identify the cause of their injuries in order to find the parties who are legally responsible for causing them.
Road Debris Causes Tragedy in Many North Carolina Communities
Road debris may not receive much media attention, but it dramatically affects the lives of those injured and killed in car accidents. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that road debris was responsible for roughly 125 deaths annually from 2011 to 2014. Those are more than abstract numbers. Road debris has very real consequences for victims of traffic accidents and their families.
The entire community of Lenoir was devastated by the death of a sophomore at Hibriten High School. WSOC Channel 9 reports that the student was being driven to school by his father when their pickup truck struck the back of a logging truck. One of the logs broke loose and crashed into the pickup, killing the teenager. Hibriten High officials brought in an extensive grief counseling staff and organized many different memorials in honor of the victim.
Another school community in Gaston County was shocked by the death of a young elementary school teacher killed by road debris. According to WBTV, the teacher was driving to school on Interstate 85 when a piece of metal flew off a truck travelling in the opposite direction. The debris flew across the median, hit the teacher’s car, and caused her to crash into the concrete median before running off the road. She was transported to a hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. The North Carolina Highway Patrol reported that alcohol was not a factor in the early-morning crash. The victim was wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident. The Highway Patrol also determined that it would be nearly impossible to determine where the debris came from, as the metal piece had no serial number or other identification.
Road debris also presents serious risks for those tasked with clearing it. In Morganton, a volunteer firefighter was hit while trying to clear debris from the road. WBTV reports that the victim and another firefighter had activated their emergency lights and donned reflective vests before entering the roadway to remove a tree that was blocking an intersection. The victim was struck and killed on impact. The driver was charged with felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired, driving without a license, reckless driving, not wearing a seat belt, possessing marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia.
These tragic stories illustrate the very real impact that road debris can have upon victims, families, and communities. Victims of traffic accidents have legal rights. While these legal rights can be complicated by untraceable road debris, they do exist, and it is important to protect them. Consult with a Wilmington car accident attorney in order improve your access to compensation for car accident injuries.