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Chain reaction motor vehicle accidents challenge investigators

Florida's interstates and highways always seem to be packed, especially during the daylight hours. The sheer number of vehicles on these roadways during many motor vehicle accidents makes it astonishing that the media does not report more pileups. Fortunately, chain reaction crashes do not seem to happen as often as two-vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, this makes them a challenge for investigators due to the large number of vehicles and victims involved.

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol spent hours investigating a seven-vehicle pileup on U.S. Highway 27 that started when one vehicle failed to stop for traffic. It slammed into the back of the car in front of it and set off a chain reaction crash that ultimately involved seven vehicles. Preliminary reports indicate that several people suffered injuries, and many of them were transported to area hospitals. One of those was the 32-year-old driver whose apparent negligence initiated the crash, who suffered serious injuries. 

The 18-year-old driver of the first car car hit suffered fatal injuries at the scene. The other occupant of that car, a 20-year-old woman, initially survived the crash, but later died at the hospital. Even though the road was reopened later that evening, the investigation into the crash continues.

While officials determine whether to file criminal charges against the driver who initiated the crash, the families of the deceased victims and anyone else who suffered serious injuries retains the right to file wrongful death or personal injury claims, as applicable. Each of them would need to establish through appropriate evidence that the fatal or serious injuries suffered were due to the negligence of another. If successfully proved, damages seen in other motor vehicle accidents could be awarded.

Source:, "2 dead in pileup on Florida Turnpike Sunday", March 20, 2017

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