A retired kindergarten teacher and baker was killed on May 1 after a head-on collision on U.S. 67. The woman, 63, of Glen Rose, Texas, was driving her Kia Rio northeast when she was struck by another Kia driven by a 17-year-old boy. The young driver was moving southwest behind another vehicle. Initial reports state he did not see the woman’s vehicle when he attempted to turn onto County Road 1119. The boy and three other teenager passengers in his vehicle were all transported by helicopter to a Forth Worth hospital where they were admitted in serious-to-critical condition. The woman was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and passed away shortly after. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating the accident.
The Young Driver May Have Had Too Many Passengers
It is common knowledge that adolescent drivers are particularly prone to distractions when driving. Having multiple passengers in the vehicle while they drive is one way to cause a distraction, which increases the likelihood of an accident. That is why many states, including Texas, restrict how many passengers young drivers are allowed to have in the vehicle at any given time.
Under Texas’ graduated license law, drivers under the age of 18 must follow certain restrictions. They cannot drive a car:
- With more than one passenger under the age of 21 who is not a family member;
- Between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., unless it is for school, work, or a medical emergency; or
- While using a wireless communication device, including a hands-free device.
Initial reports of the accident state that the driver was 17 years old and had three passengers, one of which was 18 and the other two who were minors. As a driver under the age of 18, the boy should not have been driving with more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless they were related. However, whether or not the driver broke any laws and will face citations or charges will depend on the outcome of the DPS investigation.
The Victim’s Family May Have a Wrongful Death Claim
If there is evidence the boy was negligent at the time of the crash and therefore liable for the woman’s death, her family may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim with the boy’s insurer or within the court system. The woman is said to have left behind adult children who would be entitled to bring a wrongful death claim under Texas law and seek to recover:
- Medical expenses;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of future earnings or benefits;
- Loss of inheritance; and
- Pain and suffering.
Determining whether someone has the right to bring a valid wrongful death claim and whether or not it is the right decision for their family can be extraordinary difficult. That is why families affected by a traffic accident should contact a New Braunfels wrongful death lawyer from The Bettersworth Law Firm as soon as possible. We have years of experience with the traumatic results of collisions. We understand how to investigate these accidents and analyze the best legal options for obtaining compensation.