Many vehicle accidents happen for reasons not initially understood. Although driver error is many times to blame, other factors such as bad weather conditions, improper signage or a poorly-designed roadway can contribute to a serious car, truck or motorcycle accident. When fault is found with a driver, numerous reasons are possible including impairment due to alcohol or improper prescription drug use, drowsy driving, distracted driving due to cellphone operation, or medical emergency, as well as others.
As Baltimore car accident attorneys and Maryland personal injury lawyers, our job is to find evidence of negligence on a driver’s part that may have led to a collision that injured another individual. In instances of a fatal wreck, there is always the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit depending on the circumstances and facts specific to that case. Occasionally, an accident is caused by failure of a critical automotive component, such as a steering tierod, brake system part, poorly maintained tires, or a damaged suspension component, among others.
Not long ago, 69-year-old Ray S. Linebaugh died in a collision with a Megabus parked on the shoulder along a stretch of I-70. Linebaugh, a Hagerstown resident and former head of the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County, was reportedly driving westbound on the freeway when for some reason his pickup truck veered across the median and entered the opposing traffic lanes near the Big Pool exit.
Based on police reports, Linebaugh’s vehicle careened into the disabled bus as it was parked on the roadside awaiting for a repair vehicle and second bus to transfer the passengers. Linebaugh was declared dead at the scene, while several other people who were passengers on the bus received minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.
Police reported that another vehicle carrying a woman and her two children crashed as the driver attempted to avoid the out-of-control pickup truck as it crossed the eastbound lanes. The mother and kids also received injuries as a result of the incident and were taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to reports, the bus, which had a total of 18 persons on it, was headed to Washington, D.C., when it experienced transmission problems. Apparently the vehicle had only been sitting on the roadside a brief time before the pickup truck came across from the westbound side and collided with it. The force of the impact caused the bus’ main door to become jammed, however the bus driver was able to assist his passengers in exiting the vehicle through the emergency exit at the rear.
Although the traffic accident could conceivably had been caused by some type of defective equipment in the pickup truck, news reports stated that the Maryland State Police had also not ruled out a medical emergency as a possible cause of the crash. Linebaugh’s body was reportedly transported to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy.
Hagerstown man killed, 6 taken to hospital after I-70 crash, Herald-Mail.com, February 28, 2011