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Fatal accident in Texas takes three lives in 2-vehicle wreck

The wrongful or premature left-hand turn has accounted for a huge toll of human suffering in the annals of vehicular accidents in the United States. One such horrific fatal accident occurred recently in Texas on U.S. 290 at Belterra Drive in Hays County, according to Department of Public Safety officials. At about 1:23 p.m. a westbound Honda Accord was turning left onto Belterra when it was struck by a pickup traveling east in the far right lane of 290, a DPS official said.

A Texas State Trooper reported that witnesses said the traffic light was yellow when the Honda attempted to turn, and it was hit in the right front panel by the pickup. The pickup was hauling a trailer with bags of cement. Tragically, three male passengers in the pickup were killed and the driver was hospitalized with critical injuries. The driver and a passenger in the Honda had minor injuries.

The investigation was ongoing and no citations were reported. This appears to be another fatal accident where a driver may have been too impatient to wait to make a safer left-hand turn. By turning on a yellow light, the Honda created a hazardous situation for those with the right-of-way on 290.

However, the pickup could have been partially responsible because the light may have been yellow when it decided to continue through the intersection. But usually one who attempts a left-turn by rushing through a yellow light is held to be at fault. Furthermore, under modern-day comparative negligence laws, the victim can be partially at fault and still collect damages from the other at-fault driver. But no conclusions about fault can be made until the police investigation is completed. Also, the three passengers are free to demand compensation from both drivers if each is partly responsible.

In this Texas fatal accident, the estates of the three passengers in the pickup can most likely bring a valid claim for wrongful death damages against the Honda driver. If partial fault is also attributed to the pickup driver, the estates may also seek compensation from that driver. Whenever more than one vehicle is deemed to be responsible for causing the accident, passengers can generally claim damages from each at-fault driver.

Source: www.statesman.com, U.S. 290 reopened after 3 killed in wreck, Sam Womack, Sept. 13, 2013

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