A spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol says that although MoDOT does its best to clear the roadways of snow and ice, environmental conditions can cause thawing and refreezing of ice patches that may cause problems for drivers. For this reason, vehicle operators must be extra careful and maintain safe following distances between vehicles to avoid the need for sudden braking that could cause serious or even fatal motor vehicle accidents. One such accident that may have been caused, in part, by ice on the roadway occurred in St. Charles County on a recent Thursday morning.
Police say a 36-year-old woman was traveling north along Highway 61 when another northbound driver apparently lost control of his or her vehicle and rear-ended her car. Officers say the driver may have lost control of the vehicle after it slipped on an ice patch. The impact reportedly caused both vehicles to veer across the center median and into the southbound lanes.
A southbound SUV driver could not avoid colliding with both vehicles. The SUV driver suffered moderate injuries, but the woman whose car was rear-ended lost her life in the crash, along with her 6-year-old daughter. They were both declared dead at the scene. An infant who was also in the car was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to her injuries as well. It is not known whether the driver who appears to have caused the crash suffered any injuries.
Sadly, three funerals and burials must be arranged, and the financial impact is obvious. Fortunately, the Missouri civil justice system allows surviving family members who lose loved ones in fatal motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of another party to pursue claims for financial relief by filing wrongful death claims in a civil court. Negligence must be established before the court will consider the entry of monetary judgments. If sufficient evidence of negligence causing the fatalities is presented, the court will adjudicate all documented claims for monetary relief, including financial and emotional damages caused by the tragic accident.
Source: kmov.com, “Victims of fatal St. Charles County accident identified; family speaks“, Stephanie Baumer, Jan. 21, 2016