A chain reaction vehicle accident in Lawrence County, Missouri, on Interstate 44 ended up killing one man from Joplin and injuring a total of seven other people. The car accident took place at approximately 4:50 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. Four cars and three tractor-trailers were involved, and police said that the accident fouled up traffic for miles and necessitated the closure of the west lane of the highway until about 10 p.m. that evening.

The deceased motorist was a 44-year-old man, and he died on the scene from his injuries. An 11-year-old boy in the same vehicle also suffered minor injuries and was transported to a nearby medical facility for treatment of his injuries. The chain of collisions began with a Freightliner driven by another 44- year-old man rear-ended a 48-year-old man’s car in the westbound lanes of the highway. That began a string of events in which that car ran into a tractor-trailer, impacting on its side, pushing it into a 28-year- old man’s car, which in turn hit a 46-year-old man’s car. The tractor-trailer then also collided with another truck in which a 37-year-old man was behind the wheel.

Police did not indicate what they believe started this chain of events. In many vehicle accidents, speeding, abuse of drugs or alcohol, driver fatigue or distracted driving are common causes. As this accident indicates, sometimes a large number of people, including other motorists, passengers and pedestrians, wind up paying the price for a single motorist’s neglect.

Wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits against reckless drivers can help shift the economic burden away from innocent accident victims and their families and onto the shoulders of those responsible for the mayhem on our highways. Such lawsuits can both obtain some needed compensation and serve to help deter others from driving recklessly.

Source: Joplin Globe, “Joplin man killed, seven others injured in chain-reaction crash on interstate” No author given, Dec. 14, 2013

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