A deadly accident occurred on January 5, 2013, in the 3200 block of Seventh Street Road in Shively, Kentucky. It occurred at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. According to Louisville Metro Police (LMPD), the driver of a Chrysler Sebring was driving southbound on Seventh Street Road. They ended up losing control and crashed into the side of an abandoned Astro van on the side of the road. LMPD said both vehicles ended up stopping by hitting a fence.
Both people in the car appeared to be females in their 30s. One of the women died instantly at the scene and the other was transported to the University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It appeared that neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seat belt. LMPD said that speed may have been a factor.
People who live around the area said that the driver may have reached speeds over 100 MPH. Resident William Van Horn said, “It was like thunder. I thought it was like the train over there hitting, but it wasn’t. It was like a ‘Boom,’ real loud. I didn’t hear any brakes. I have never seen this kind of accident in my life.”
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In 2012, there were 586 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. Out of the 586 fatalities, 321 of them were not wearing a seat belt. In 2013, there were six highway fatalities in Kentucky, which is two less than in 2012.
This is a tragedy on many levels. Legally, only the passenger will be able to collect for either their pain or suffering from the injuries sustained or their estate for the wrongful death claim. This will depend on who was determined to be driving the car. Since the driver seemed to be at-fault, she would not have a claim. The passenger’s claim would likely be affected by the doctrine of contributory negligence since she was not wearing a seat belt. The doctrine of contributory negligence means that if a person was injured because of their own negligence, the injured party would not receive any money from the other party. This is true even if the other party was supposedly at-fault. In this accident, if the failure to wear a seat belt was a factor in the injuries or death, it will have an effect on the claim value.