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Car accidents: Driver and passenger killed on Interstate 44

The circumstances of every auto accident are unique. In some crashes, determining who was at fault may be difficult. A Missouri rest stop on Interstate 44 near St. Clair has been identified as a location where a number of accidents have occurred. This rest stop is unusual in that it was built on the center median and serves vehicle operators driving in both directions.

The danger is apparently caused by the fact that vehicles leaving the rest area have to merge into the fast lane of I-44. Large trucks typically take a while before they get up to a speed that will not cause problems for other drivers in the fast lane. For this reason, unsuspecting drivers, driving at the speed limit of 70 mph in the fast lane may encounter a big rig that is travelling at 25 mph. Those who are not alert may be unable to reduce speed in time to avoid a crash.

Similar circumstances may have caused the deaths of two men on eastbound I-44 in the early evening of a recent Sunday. An accident report indicates that the driver of the car came upon a tractor trailer that had recently merged into the fast lane after leaving the rest stop. The driver of the car was caught unaware and crashed into the rear of the trailer. Both the driver and the passenger of the car suffered fatal injuries.

In car accidents in which a passenger are killed as the result of the driver's negligence, the surviving family may pursue financial relief by filing a wrongful death claim in a Missouri civil court. However, determining fault in a case such as this one may be best left to an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer can assess the circumstances of the crash and determine whether the legal doctrine of comparative negligence may be applicable, in which case the truck driver, the car driver and/or even the transportation department may share financial responsibility for the tragedy.

Source: stltoday.com, "I-44 scene of double fatal crash has been a trouble spot, chief says", Kim Bell, Feb. 3, 2016

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