A car’s front-seat passenger sustained life-threatening injuries in a collision with a Town of Kill Devil Hills pickup truck on the afternoon of June 20, 2014. The crash appears to have occurred when the driver of the smaller vehicle attempted a left-hand turn off of U.S. 58 onto Raleigh Avenue. Police and other emergency responders had to cut free the three people who became trapped in the car, and everyone involved in the accident required hospital treatment. The most seriously hurt woman was medevaced to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital across the state line in Virginia (VA).
Law enforcement officials could not immediately determine which person caused the collision, but they did tell reporters that neither speeding by the town employee nor alcohol use by either driver played roles.
Regardless of what a full investigation and accident reconstruction reveal, the one undeniable lesson that can be taken away from this wreck on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (NC) is that every left-hand turn must be taken with caution. Crossing oncoming traffic creates risks for everyone on the road, even when all traffic regulations are being followed. Individuals making such turns must wait until they are completely confident they have enough time and space to avoid a collision. At the same time, people traveling straight must keep a sharp lookout for turning vehicles and be prepared to slow or stop suddenly.
Two other facts about this auto accident could complicate its resolution. First, the driver of the pickup was a town employee. Government workers carrying out their official duties often have protections against liability that others do not. Should the truck operator be determined to be at fault, the victims of the crash could find it difficult to receive adequate compensation for medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Second, the people in the car are all residents of Virginia. No matter who made the error that resulted in the wreck, resolving the case will involve straightening out issues related to differing regulations in the two states. Everyone involved owes it to themselves to contact a personal injury lawyer who has a strong track record of representing people hurt in accident in both Virginia and North Carolina and experience with cases involving government.