We have previously reported federal statistics related to head-on crashes in America. Our Columbia, Missouri area readers may understand that head-on, or near head-on, crashes may be deadly. Stories involving head-on collisions seem to frequently report that a driver simply crossed the centerline of a two-lane road before a tragic wreck.
It may take difficult analysis to discover what caused a driver to cross over the centerline. Occasionally, the details may be less complex—a poorly negotiated curve, icy or wet roads, distracted driving or other issues may be apparent from early reports.
But, any time motor vehicles collide, there may be risk to other motorists who just happen to be in the area when an accident occurs. A recent tragedy in southwestern Missouri may help to illuminate the dangers that can arise when a two-vehicle accident becomes three.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says that a 19-year-old Pineville, Missouri, man was heading north on Interstate 49 last Thursday afternoon when he changed lanes. At the same time, a man from Oklahoma was northbound on the interstate. When the teen changed lanes, authorities say that the front of the Oklahoma man’s car and the rear of the Pineville man’s vehicle made contact. The impact forced the lead vehicle, driven by the Missouri teen, across the center portion of the roadway into oncoming traffic.
Six people from Arkansas were traveling southbound in a van. The Pineville teen’s car slammed into the driver’s side of the van, forcing the van off the road, where it rolled over. Two young females, a 20-year-old and a 16-year-old, who were passengers in the van, were killed. Two other passengers in the van were flown from the accident scene to hospitals, while the driver of the van and fifth passenger were transported to hospitals via ground ambulance.
Source: Joplin Globe, “Twp Bentonville people die in three-vehicle accident in Pineville,” Dec. 27, 2013