In some motor vehicle accidents, the fault is clear. The circumstances plainly point at one driver or the other. In other accidents, fault cannot be easily pinpointed from a simple chronology of events. In a recent collision on Staten Island, three teenagers died in circumstances that seem to shroud responsibility.
According to police, the collision occurred at about 8:45 p.m. at the intersection of Hylan Boulevard and Richard Avenue. A red Mustang was headed west on Hylan Boulevard when it collided with an SUV making a left turn onto Richard Avenue.
The force of the collision split the Mustang in half, causing two of the victims to be thrown from the vehicle. A school bus driver who witnessed the scene said that he first heard a loud “boom.” When he ran to see what happened, the bus driver saw one victim in the middle of the lane divider and another body at the side of Hylan Boulevard. Two other kids were stuck in the other half of the Mustang. The driver said that he would never forget what he saw.
The driver of the Mustang was sent to a local hospital and was reported in stable condition. The three passengers in the SUV suffered injuries, but all are expected to survive. The exact nature of their injuries was not disclosed.
The 47-year-old driver of the SUV was taken into custody and charged with driving with a suspended license. Police did not release any information about possible impairment from drugs or alcohol.
The NYPD Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, and officers conducting the investigation say that speeding was undoubtedly a factor. The DOT commissioner concurred with this opinion. She also noted that some of the occupants of the Mustang were not wearing seatbelts.
The driver of the Mustang may bear the heaviest share of liability, especially if the post-accident investigation indicates that he was exceeding the posted speed limit. The driver of the SUV may also bear some of the fault if the investigation shows that he was negligent in making a left turn into traffic. His lack of a valid driver’s license may be an indicator of fault. No information has been released on the either the presence or condition of traffic signals.
An experienced auto accident attorney knows how to investigate an accident, determine fault and explain to the injured and their families how the law applies to the facts of the case.