Drinking and driving is a quick way to put oneself into the hospital, or worse. There is no end to the good arguments for curbing drunk driving, while there is no legitimate rationale to defend the practice. Every year, tens of thousands of people are hurt or killed by drunken drivers, including the offenders themselves. Even when there are no other factors that might contribute to a crash, just being impaired can be a cause in and of itself for a serious or fatal traffic accident.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my staff understand how circumstances can conspire to create the opportunity for a tragic car, truck or motorcycle accident. How a driver reacts when such conditions occur can make the difference between a simple fender-bender, a serious roadway collision, or a fatal car or commercial truck wreck. A driver who actively drinks and drives only increases the chances of his or her being less able to respond quickly to an accident situation.
One type of automobile crash can be caused by a failure of a car or truck’s safety or critical operating systems, such as steering or braking component failure or malfunction. When a defective component that is critical to controlling a vehicle fails, the driver may not be able to avoid an accident. Being drunk at the time of a catastrophic mechanical failure only makes it more difficult to react to the event.
Not long ago, a Dundalk man was killed when his vehicle crashed along a stretch of Interstate 695 on a Wednesday afternoon when the vehicle reportedly left the roadway and rolled, ejecting the driver. According to news reports, 34-year-old Darren Baine was heading along the outer loop of the Baltimore Beltway near exit 42 when the crash occurred.
Police reports show that Baine was the only occupant of the 2004 Ford Ranger when it left the interstate just after 2pm in the afternoon. Multiple call to Emergency 911 were received alerting authorities to the wreck. Once on the scene, state police observed that the vehicle had extensive damage indicative of a rollover accident.
Based on reports, Baine was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, which may have been a factor in his being thrown from the vehicle, which ended up in a wooded area off to the side of the roadway. Emergency rescue personnel tended to the victim at the scene before transporting him to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical where he was pronounced dead just before 3pm.
At the time of the news article, police had only performed a preliminary investigation, which turned up the possibility that the driver was drunk at the time of the accident. However, they also found that a mechanical failure of the pickup truck’s right-rear wheel may also have contributed to the wreck.
As mentioned earlier, a defective component such as a vehicle’s brakes, wheels or tires can fail while a vehicle is in motion and possibly result in the driver’s loss of vehicle control. While it is too early to tell if this crash is an example of this kind of motor vehicle accident, there is always the possibility of a products liability suit brought by the victim’s family on behalf of the deceased.
Dundalk Man Killed in I-695 Crash, Patch.com, September 24, 2011