On June 19, 2013 a retired couple from Kansas City, Missouri were hurt when a driver crossed over a center median on South Jackson Drive and crashed into a mini-van at a high rate of speed. The severe force of impact caused the mini-van to overturn and it came to rest on its side. Fortunately, the retired couple, who were on their way to a restaurant by the Independence Events Center, were lucky to escape with their lives, however the female passenger did sustain life-threatening injuries. Both the driver and his wife were transported to Truman Medical Center East.
A witness to the crash said that he saw a Ford Explorer exit a private drive onto South Jackson into the northbound lanes. Suddenly, he saw the vehicle cross over the concrete median and broadside the mini-van which was traveling southbound on Jackson Drive. The witness also mentioned that the driver apparently tried to brake before hitting the mini-van as the vehicle left a trail of skid marks.
The collision happened about 2:45 pm and was investigated by the Independence Police. According to the police report, the driver who caused the accident, was not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. She told police that her “steering went out”, and she lost control of her car. Although she failed to present proof of insurance coverage, it was later determined that the vehicle she was driving was covered under a Progressive Insurance Company policy.
Based upon the investigations and the evidence, this collision presents as a case involving “aggravated negligence”. Aggravated negligence characterizes the driver’s conduct as reckless resulting in a significant risk of harm to other motorists. In this particular case, a jury will be more inclined to find her guilty of aggravated negligence due to the fact that she tried to excuse her behavior by stating to police that her steering malfunctioned.
As an Independence, Missouri Car Accident Lawyer, I have seen a considerable spike in reckless driving over the past 5 years. Although there are many theories as to why there has been an increase in reckless driving, I believe it is because the State of Missouri has a weak new driver law. For instance, Missouri has dropped the driver’s education requirement that most adults 30 and over are familiar with. In states like Massachusetts that have strong new driver laws, teen driver fatalities are decreasing. That trend is expected to continue as the teen drivers develop into adult drivers.