During the holidays it is difficult to imagine that some families will lose a loved one to a tragic and likely preventable traffic collision. At the very best, a car, truck or motorcycle accident means that some amount of property damage will occur, however there is usually some kind of physical injury associated with most interstate, rural and urban automobile and commercial trucking wrecks.
Cars, trucks, minivan and SUVs have become much safer over the years thanks to advances in automotive safety technology. But even the best safety systems cannot, to date, prevent vehicle occupants from being injured or killed in 100 percent of motor vehicle crashes. Energy absorbing designs and materials, air bags, self-adjusting seat belts and other occupant protection devices all contribute to safer cars and trucks, but speed and circumstances still conspire to injure, maim and kill thousands of innocent people every year across the U.S.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff understand the pain and suffering that can result from a severe car, bike or pedestrian accident. Whether one lives in Rockville, Baltimore, the District or Annapolis, the news papers and TV reports are peppered with stories of individuals hurt or fatally injured as a result of a traffic collision.
Besides the typical bumps and bruises that always seem to happen in a crash, dislocated joints, fractured legs, arms, ankles and wrists can also occur during a car crash. Usually the worst type of bodily injury is that sustained when an occupants head hits a solid object inside the vehicle. Closed-head trauma, also referred to as traumatic brain injury, can put a person in the hospital for weeks or months; sometimes years.
A head-on car or trucking-related highway accident is one of the worst collisions that can take place on a Maryland roadway. Many times worse than colliding with another vehicle at low speeds, a head-on crash essentially doubles the average speed of both vehicles. For example, when two cars — each traveling 55mph — strike each other head-on, the force can be equivalent to a single vehicle hitting a brick wall at more than 100mph. It goes without saying that this kind of situation is one in which no one would want to be caught.
That said, we have been reminded once again of the potentially fatal consequences that a head-on traffic wreck can present. According to news reports, a 21-year-old driver died last month following a collision between two vehicles along a stretch of Rte 22 in Churchville, MD. Based on news reports, the accident happened late on a Saturday afternoon when the driver of a Dodge pickup apparently crossed over the centerline of the roadway and hit a late model Hyundai Elantra driven by Joshua Hanna, a resident of Street, MD.
After emergency responders arrived at the crash scene, Hanna was taken by medevac chopper to Baltimore’s University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. However, doctors could do nothing for the young man, who was pronounced dead at the hospital by medical personnel. According to Maryland State Police, the driver of the pickup truck survived the crash; the 26-year-old driver reportedly sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for medical treatment.
No mention was made as to the specific cause of the deadly collision, such as driver error, alcohol or drug impairment, poor weather conditions or vehicle mechanical failure, however police were still investigating at the time of the news report.
Street Man Dies in Weekend Accident, Patch.com, November 7, 2011