With cars being so common in our day-to-day lives, it can be easy for people to forget that driving is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. Drivers have the responsibility to keep their cars moving in a safe direction and to keep their eyes on the road, looking for potential dangers.

Even the smallest of automobiles on the road today have the potential to cause serious damage and great bodily harm, and this is especially true when a motor vehicle collides with a person riding a motorcycle or bicycle as well as a pedestrian on foot.

A recent story from St. Francois County demonstrates how serious a car versus pedestrian accident can be. According to news reports, a 14-year-old girl was crossing Route 32 at about 10:30 p.m. A passing vehicle being driven by a Chesterfield woman reportedly struck the girl. The girl was rushed to the hospital and was pronounced dead.

Now, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and important questions need to be answered. Was the driver speeding? Was the driver distracted or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Was the pedestrian crossing the road illegally? What were the road and weather conditions at the time of this fatal accident?

Depending on the answers to these questions, law enforcement authorities may file criminal charges against the driver involved in this tragic accident. However, independent of whether or not criminal charges are filed, a civil suit seeking compensation on behalf of the victim and her family may also be filed. 

Source: Chesterfield Patch, “Chesterfield Driver Involved in Fatal Pedestrian Accident,” Frank Johnson, May 26, 2013