If you follow the news long enough, some traffic accident reports stick out as being either incredibly unlikely or based in a reality that most of the driving public hopefully has never experienced. Chronic drunk drivers, for example, can operate their vehicles in an inebriated state completely without incident for what seems like years, while a first-time drunken driver may hit another vehicle minutes after leaving the bar, causing a traffic accident with sometimes fatal results.
Other drivers just seem to have very poor judgment when operating their cars, trucks or motorcycles and seem to be involved in fender-benders on what seems like a recurrent basis. These people, whose insurance rates must surely go through the roof after several occurrences, might end up causing a serious accident themselves; sometimes one of these drivers tangles with an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rig on the highway and causes a tremendous wreck, from which he or she might not walk away.
For the rest of us, we must exercise extreme caution when plying congested urban thoroughfares of cities like Annapolis, Washington, D.C., and Gaithersburg, as well as the high-speed expressways that connect them. From time to time, even the most competent drivers meet up with one of those so-called bad drivers with tragic consequences.
As Baltimore car accident attorneys and Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my staff know what it means to have a family member killed by a drunk, inattentive or otherwise negligent driver. There really are no words that can ease the suffering of a family that has lost a father, mother or sibling in such a senseless traffic collision.
Not long ago, a resident of St. Mary’s County, MD, was involved in two traffic accidents along Rte 5 both within minutes of each other; the second of which left two Maryland women dead. According to news reports, the apparently negligent driver was a 34-year-old man from Callaway who was behind the wheel of a 2007 Chevy pickup truck.
Based on police reports, the Robert Rice Jr. was operating his Chevrolet 2500 pickup in the northbound lane of Rte 5 just before 7pm on a Thursday evening. The man reportedly struck a Toyota minivan being driven by Sophie Newbury, 40, near the intersection of Rte 5 and Piney Point Rd. Newbury’s vehicle was apparently not seriously damaged in the apparent hit-and-run crash, after which she followed Rice north along Rte 5 in an effort to get the pickup’s license plate number.
A report out of the St. Mary’s sheriff’s department indicated that as Newbury was following Rice, his vehicle hit a 2011 Toyota Sienna from the rear as it traveled northbound, pushing the Sienna off the roadway and onto the shoulder. The force of that second impact apparently caused Rice to lose control of his pickup truck, which then veered left across the centerline and into opposing traffic.
The man’s pickup hit an oncoming Chevy Impala, apparently killing two 22-year-old women, and then bursting into flame. Police and emergency responders arriving on the scene lent aid to the surviving victims, including the Sienna’s driver, who was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center along with Rice.
According to news reports, when EMS crews pulled Rice from his burning vehicle he apparently could not use his legs, which could mean that he sustained some type of spinal cord damage, though no additional information was available at the time of the news article.
At the time of the news article, no charges had been levied against the man; the state’s attorney for St. Mary’s County reportedly stated that his office was waiting for any detailed information from the police that would have indicated Rice’s condition when the collisions occurred. Meanwhile, the St. Mary’s County sheriff’s office had asked for any witnesses to the fatal accident to come forward and help police piece together events leading up to the fatal collision.
Pickup driver from St. Mary’s fatal crash still in hospital, SoMdNews.com, August 12, 2011