Driver Charged in Fatal I-70 Car Crash that Killed Two Children

Labor Day Fatal Interstate 70 Car Crash

A driver has been charged in the  five-car pile-up near Blue Springs on Labor Day, that resulted in the death of two children and serious injury of their parents.

Around 6 p.m., just west of Adams Dairy Parkway on eastbound Interstate 70, a Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Hyundai Elantra carrying a family of four: a 39 year-old man, his 37 year-old wife and their children, ages 13 and 7 all of Warrenton, Missouri.  The children died and the parents were suffered serious injuries.

In addition to the deaths of the two children, the father is reported as suffering injures resulting  in paralysis. At this time, there is not an update on the mother’s condition.

After rear-ending the Hyundai, he Escalade then hit an Acura TL and pushed the Acura into a Chevy Tahoe and Ford Escape.

Driver’s Statements

According to the driver, he indicated he looked down to his phone to swipe it to a new song and never looked up before the crash as reported by police.  When he was asked if he had been drinking, he indicated he had had three beers about an hour before the crash.  Court documents indicate that he refused a breath test, but two blood tests were taken and those results are pending.

Updated, the driver has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder vehicular-intoxicated, two counts of second-degree assault and charged with driving intoxicated.  He was also charged with driving while license revoked/suspended. Other occupants of the other vehicles in the pile-up were reported as having minor to moderate injuries.  Currently, the case is set for trial in June of 2017 in Jackson County.

A Possible DWI History….

Court records indicate that the alleged drunk/distracted driver was charged with a DWI in July of 2007 in Lee’s Summit, MO to which he pled guilty. His sentence was suspended and he received two years probation. Court documents also show he was found guilty of DWI in Camden County, Missouri in 1997.  Crashes involving repeat DWI offenders cause questions from all of us. As well, we question if the driver had not been looking at his phone, could this crash have been avoided all together?

It is important to note that at this point, it has not been proven that the Escalade driver was under the influence nor has it been proven that he was a distracted even though initial statements would seem incriminating.  Since the crash resulted in deaths and serious life-changing injuries, full investigations will continue.

Negligence in a Motor Vehicle Crash

Negligent behavior in a motor vehicle crash is the “failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another”.  When someone chooses to climb behind the wheel while under the influence or they choose to operate their phone and take their eyes off the roadway, it is generally considered “negligent” at minimum and sometimes criminal.    However, just because someone engaged in a negligent act does not guarantee they will be charged and convicted.

Drunk driving and distracted driving are both considered negligent because they involve personal choices to not be careful.  Obviously, it is not so much the offender’s safety that we are concerned with but rather the innocent fellow highway travelers one may injure by making the choice to drive under the influence or engage in distracted driving.

Importance of Hiring a Missouri Car Crash Attorney

Hiring a personal injury attorney does not mean you are filing a lawsuit that day.  A personal injury attorney should be hired immediately to gather evidence and possibly have an independent accident reconstruction expert evaluate all evidence and the crash site.  A personal injury attorney communicates with all insurance parties available and looks for coverage and compensation to meet the tremendous amounts of medical bills and lost wages in order to assist the family in this excoriating ordeal.  A personal injury attorney can also monitor the criminal proceedings.

Hiring an expert car crash attorney is critical in the beginning to ensure all evidence is secured and the claims are processed correctly.  Seriously injured victims who have suffered the loss of family and facing life-changing consequences of the crash are overwhelmed at minimum and should not go through this journey alone.

Even if you don’t call The Cagle Law Firm, you should encourage anyone you know that has been injured in a motor vehicle crash to contact an expert car crash attorney right away.  Fewer things disturb us more than when individuals do not consult a personal injury attorney and fail to have their best interests protected.

At The Cagle Law Firm, our attorneys are available seven days a week and offer free consultations.

Call (314) 276-1681

Contact Us Today

The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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