Rear end collisions can often by blamed on some form of negligence by the rearmost driver. Excess speed, driver inattention, alcohol or drug impairment, and mechanical malfunction are high on the list of probable causes. In spite of these accepted explanations, a recent three-car rear end collision in Haines City may possibly contradict common experience.
On March 17, shortly after 10:30 p.m., Polk County sheriff’s deputies responded to an accident alert on U.S. 17 near Bates Road. When deputies arrived, they found the driver of a Kia Sorrento who had suffered critical injuries, the driver of a Ford Escape with only minor injuries and the driver of a Toyota 4Runner who had suffered serious injuries. The driver of the Sorrento later died from his injuries. The driver of the Toyota suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized. A nine-year-old boy in the Toyota was the second fatality.
According to sheriff’s deputies, the Kia struck the rear end of the Escape, causing both drivers to lose control. After the initial collision, the Kia crossed into the opposite lane and struck the Toyota at an angle. The driver of the Kia was not wearing his seatbelt. All three occupants of the Toyota were wearing seatbelts.
As noted above, the police ruled out excessive speed, drug and alcohol impairment and driver distraction as causative factors for the drivers of the Ford Escape and the Toyota 4Runner. The driver of the Kia, the vehicle which began the chain reaction accident, may have been traveling at an excessive speed.
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a similar accident may wish to consider pursuing a claim for damages. The advice of an experienced personal injury attorney may provide a useful evaluation of the evidence, a helpful overview of the applicable law and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.