Aside from the old saying that crime doesn’t pay, we also know that nobody deserves to die in a car accident due to the actions of another individual. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my staff of experienced legal professionals have a fair amount of insight into the range of catastrophic results that a traffic collision can impart to occupants of a motor vehicle that crashes at high speeds.
In our line of work, we know that fate, luck, destiny — or whatever term one chooses to describe the random effects of a serious accident — can have in store for the hapless victims of a car, truck or motorcycle wreck. Even for those people who travel on foot, pedestrian-related traffic accidents can happen more often than one would expect, either here in the Baltimore area, out in Columbia or Gaithersburg, or over in Washington, D.C. Anyone who has seen the aftermath of a car-pedestrian or car-bicycle collision knows that being hit by a 3,000-pound passenger car is not something one rebounds from quickly.
The other day we ran across a news article describing a car crash that involved a stolen vehicle and resulted in the deaths of three passengers. Whether or not those other occupants were accomplices, it would be a stretch to say that they deserved to die in the fiery wreckage following a police chase. According to news reports, an 18-year-old man was allegedly behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle when it left the roadway, slammed into a tree and then burst into flames.
Based on police reports, Reeco Richardson was one of four individuals riding in a stolen Toyota Echo in late March of this year. The vehicle had reportedly been stopped by policemen in the early morning hours on March 23. While doing a vehicle registration check, it became clear that the car had been reported stolen. As the patrolmen were running the vehicle plate information, the driver fled the scene but lost control of the vehicle not far from the site of the initial traffic stop.
Officers following the fleeing vehicle initially attempted to quell the fire while pulling the driver and another critically injured 16-year-old male out of the burning wreck. The officers apparently tried to get the other individuals out before the car became engulfed in an inferno. Two other male occupants, a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old could not be extricated by the patrolmen before the car was totally covered in flames. The driver and his 16-year-old passenger were both taken to a local hospital for treatment; however, the younger teen died before doctors could save his life.
Richardson was eventually charged with motor vehicle theft, among other offenses. There was no mention as to the reason why the car veered off the roadway and hit the tree; however, there is always a slim possibility that one of the car’s critical control systems malfunctioned, thus precipitating the fatal crash. Defective components can sometimes be the cause of serious or fatal car accidents, as can driver error or negligent vehicle operation.
Reeco Richardson, Lone Survivor Of Fatal Stolen Car Crash, Charged By Police; CBSLocal.com, April 24, 2012
Two Killed In Fiery Stolen Car Crash In Chevy Chase, CBSLocal.com, March 23, 2012