Fourth of July Holiday Weekend-12 Traffic Fatalities

Holiday Weekend-Numerous Fatal Crashes

Long holiday weekends are always much anticipated fun weekends. The down side of a longer holiday weekend is the increase in car collisions. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 12 traffic fatalities, zero boating fatalities and three drownings over the 4th of July holiday. Troopers worked 376 traffic crashes including 139 injures and nine of the 12 fatalities. Troopers also made 160 DWI arrests and 110 drug arrests over the holiday weekend.

While the MSHP investigated nine fatal traffic crashes; Belton Police Department investigated one fatality, Springfield Police Department investigated one fatality and St. Louis Metro Police investigated one fatality. There were no fatalities on July 4th, 2019.

While the counting period began at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, there were three fatalities that occurred beyond the official counting period but those fatalities are sill associated with the holiday for the family and friends of victims. A common theme runs throughout the MSHP reports and local officer reports–failure to wear a seat belt. Granted, seat belts do not guarantee that you will not be injured, but seat belts keep occupants in the vehicle. When occupants are ejected, the survival rate goes down drastically.

A few of the fatal crashes should be mentioned as they involved head-on collisions and/or failure to yield. Both of these driving behaviors violate basic rules of the road. While individuals may not have intentionally violated these rules, serious injuries and fatalities result.

July 3, 2019 – Pemiscot County- an 80 year-old Hayti man was killed after a Chevy Tahoe crossed the center lane and struck his Lexis head-on. The driver and the passenger of the striking vehicle were seriously injured. At this time, it has not been reported why the Tahoe crossed the center line on MO 84, one mile west of Caruthersville. The crash occurred around 3:36 p.m. While this fatality was not included in the official holiday counting period, it appears to be a head-on collision that is by definition often avoidable.

July 6, 2019- McDonald County – a 55 year-old Noel, Missouri woman was killed when her Nissan Altima crossed the center line and struck a Dodge 3500 head-on. The driver of the Dodge, a 42 year old Noel, MO man was seriously injured. The crash occurred around 3:25 p.m. on MO 90, a quarter miles south of Noel. MSHP reports that neither of the drivers were wearing seat belts.

Downtown St. Louis Fatal Crash- July 6, 2019

Around 1:30 a.m. on July 7th, 2019, a man was killed and injured three others seriously injured in an overnight crash on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. The two-vehicle crash occurred on 7th and Washington Ave. According to police, a Ford Fusion was stopped at the intersection and was attempting a left turn onto 7th Street from Washington Ave when it was hit by a Dodge Charger. The impact of the collision forced the Fusion off the road and onto the sidewalk in the 600 block of Washington Ave. Police indicated that an occupant of the Fusion was ejected from the vehicle and later died. The driver and front passenger in the Charger were taken to a local hospital and listed in stable condition.

Springfield, MO Fatal Crash

A 33 year-old man of Brighton, Missouri was killed in a crash on July 6, 2019 at 9:15 a.m. According to reports, a 62 year-old Springfield man was turning left onto West Kearney Street from North Concord Ave in a Ford Explorer when he struck the motorcyclist who was driving a Honda motorcycle. The motorcyclist died at the scene and the truck driver was injured and Springfield Police are investigating.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are typically the most dangerous type of crashes. Two cars that strike head-on have the direct, combined force of both vehicles. Unlike crashes involving other angles, force is not deflected or absorbed as much by the body of the vehicle. Air bags and seat belts are greatly helpful in these crashes. Aire bags help with force and seat belts keep occupants in the vehicle. Those not wearing seat belts can easily be ejected. Once an occupant is ejected, the serious injury and fatality risk greatly increase.

There are numerous things that cause head-on collisions including improper passing and speeding. As well, a driver who is momentarily distracted or not paying attention can drift into oncoming traffic with deadly consequences for both drivers. Head-on collisions are more common on two-lane roads where a car can wonder a few feet and inadvertently strike another car head-on. When you are facing an oncoming car in your lane, it is difficult to maneuver away from the vehicle. Drivers often try to swerve (if they ever see it coming) and may inadvertently swerve in the same direction as the opposing driver. There are really few evasive maneuvers when another driver is barreling down upon you in your lane. Most people tend to try to swerve to the right to avoid the crash if they even see it coming. Most individuals that I speak with after a head-on collision are happy to simply be talking and alive. While grateful to be alive, they are almost always seriously injured and facing a long rehabilitation.

Failure to Yield

When a vehicle fails to yield, it literally fakes out other drivers. The failure to yield results in intersection crashes and T-bone crashes. We all agree to uniform rules of the road and we have to have some belief that other drivers will follow the rules or it is pure anarchy. Motorcyclists are often the seriously injured or killed in failure to yield to right-of-way in a left-hand turn situation. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, other drivers have a tendency to not keep a careful look out of motorcyclists. And, often, drivers perceive motorcyclists to be further away than they really are. When drivers fail to see or fail to yield and making a left-hand turn, these can be catastrophic for motorcycles. Drivers making a left-hand turn and failing to yield to oncoming traffic is one of the number one causes of motorcycle fatalities. Most motorcyclists I talk to have very much increased caution when they see drivers making left-hand turns and motorcyclists often assume that passenger car drivers simply do not see them–they drive defensively. However, we simply cannot account for every driver that fails to yield while making a left-hand turn.

Following a Serious Injury or Fatal Crash

It is overwhelming if you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash or if you have lost a loved one in a car collision. More often than not, the questions far outnumber the answers in the first few weeks. If you are hurt or if you have lost a loved one, you should not talk with the insurance carriers about injuries and losses. If there is serious injury or death, you will need legal assistance.

Consult a skilled attorney as soon as possible. When drivers fail to yield, speed or drive distracted resulting in injuries and fatalities, victims will need legal representation. We genuinely wish that victims did not need legal representation to attain fair compensation.

Car crashes can be devastating and life-changing for victims and their families. We consider it a privilege to represent injured persons of motor vehicle collisions.

Call us toll free 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314.257.0214

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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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