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While most people may think of fatal car accidents as involving high speeds and heavily-traveled highways, the reality is that fatal accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, including in a parking lot. The San Antonio Express-News recently reported on a fatal accident that took place in the parking lot of Hunt Methodist Church. At approximately 10:00 a.m., as people were leaving church services, a van allegedly went out of control and struck four other vehicles, as well as 68-year-old Vickie Oehler, wife of Kerr County Commissioner Bruce Oehler. Emergency personnel flew Oehler to San Antonio Military Medical Center by helicopter, where she was pronounced dead. While it is unclear at this point what caused the van to go out of control and the accident to occur, the Kerr County Sheriff and the Department of Public Safety are continuing to investigate the matter. When a fatal accident occurs, there are two different legal perspectives from which to examine the situation. First, authorities must determine whether any criminal activity occurred that led to the accident. For instance, if the driver that causes a fatal accident was intoxicated, then the driver may be charged criminally for his role in causing the accident. On the other hand, if the driver acted negligently in any way in causing the accident, or with a lack of reasonable care given the circumstances, then the driver also may be civilly liable to any victims of the accident. In this manner, depending on what the cause of the accident, a person can face both criminal and civil liability. In the case of a fatal accident, the deceased person’s surviving immediate family members may have the right to pursue a wrongful death action against the responsible party or parties who acted negligently in causing the accident. Damages available in wrongful death suits may include medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral expenses, and loss of future income. To explore whether you may be entitled to damages for the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another, please contact your Seguin, Texas wrongful death attorney today.
KSAT.com recently reported on a tragic accident that occurred near the HEB at Walzem and Montgomery and resulted in the death of a local homeless man. Witnesses told police that the driver of a silver Ford pick-up truck was pulling out of the HEB and South onto Walzem toward Eisehauer when the truck struck a man crossing the street. The man, who was described as a homeless man in his 60s, died at the scene of the accident. One witness indicated that the driver of the truck briefly stopped and exited the vehicle, but then reentered the truck and drove away without helping the fatally injured man. Witnesses also were able to give a partial license plate number for the silver pick-up truck, and police are continuing to search for the hit-and-run driver. In addition to facing potential criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident and perhaps more serious charges related to the man’s death, the hit-and-run driver, if identified, may be civilly liable for certain expenses related to the man’s death. Although this particular report describes the victim of this fatal accident as homeless, this is not to say that the man actually was homeless, or that he had no surviving family. Any immediate family who survives the deceased man may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the man’s death. Proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit can cover expenses such as final medical costs, pain and suffering incurred prior to the man’s death, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of companionship and/or support. Although the possibility of holding this hit-and-run driver responsible in this case may seem remote at this point, police do have some leads in this case that may result in the discovery of the driver responsible. If a family member has been fatally injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. In this case, you should immediately contact an experienced Seguin, Texas wrongful death attorney for assistance.
55-year-old Devan Coulter Smith was killed in a crash on September 27. San Antonio News-Express reported the story in full. Austin Stull, 17, was driving his pickup home from school on West Avenue, north of West Silver Sands Drive. His driving was reckless and indifferent, and according to witnesses Stull was traveling “at nearly 60 mph and weaving in and out of traffic” and “might have run a red light.” In the crash, the victim’s helmet came off, his bike went to pieces and he was flung into the street. Following the crash, the pickup hit a construction sign, drifted along a fence and finally ran into a light pole, snapping it in half. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. San Antonio police detained Stull after the incident. He was released after giving a statement, but he may still face a manslaughter charge. San Antonio has a “safe passing” ordinance that obligates vehicles to stay 3 feet away from cyclists and pedestrians, which the reckless driver completely ignored. One witness describes how Stull behaved after the crash: “He started yelling at the cyclist, saying, ‘Why the (expletive) did you swerve into my lane?'” The victim was an experienced bicyclist who regularly drove in the area and knew the rules. Sometimes even following traffic regulations and wearing protective helmets is not enough to defend you from harm. The indifference of other people on the road can have unexpected and disastrous consequences. If you or someone you know has been injured in a traffic accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a highly skilled car accident lawyer in New Braunfels, Texas at your earliest convenience.
A serious wreck involving a bus, a semi-truck, and two passenger vehicles, shut down parts of State Highway 123 south of Seguin for nearly the entire day on Friday. According to a spokesperson from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS,) the accident occurred early on Friday morning, and began when a PT Cruiser pulled off the side of the highway to allow the big-rig to pass – but when it did, it clipped the smaller vehicle, causing it to spin in front of the bus. The bus his the PT Cruiser, and a Ford Focus that was following the bus was also involved in the crash. At some point, the mangled vehicles ignited, causing them to all end up charred. [caption id="attachment_136" align="alignright" width="347" caption="Screenshot courtesy of KSAT 12"][/caption] An Seguin Today article relayed that the driver of the 18-wheeler, 58-year-old Jesus Martinez of Seguin, was airlifted to University Hospital, where he was last reported in critical condition. The drivers of both cars, a female in her 50’s and a female in her 60’s, were also hospitalized. Nine students were on the Seguin ISD bus at the time of the accident. Eight were treated and released, and one, an eight-grader from Barnes Middle School, remains hospitalized and is believed to be in stable condition, along with the school bus driver. DPS continues their investigation into the accident. Comal County residents who are involved in a multi-vehicle wreck should contact an knowledgeable New Braunfels truck crash lawyer. Only a Texas personal injury attorney with experience representing truck accident victims can aggressively and efficiently advocate for those who have been injured in a motor vehicle wreck.