A miscalculation—or more than one—led to a chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles at the Maple Street on-ramp in Spokane recently. At least seven people in the vehicles suffered some kind of injury, and the Washington State Patrol said that charges were pending.
According to a published report, the crash began when one of the four cars hit another while they were all trying to merge. The first car struck a second, and was struck by a third, which also struck the second and pushed it into one more. By the time it was done, no one was going anywhere fast and the interstate was backed up until the wrecks were cleared.
Only one of the drivers was reported as uninjured at the scene. Another was injured slightly but was not hospitalized. The other two drivers and three passengers were taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with unspecified injuries. One other passenger had injuries at the scene but was not transported.
Although four vehicles were part of this crash, it was one incident. The injuries were minor, and no one was killed. That’s not always the way a situation like this unfolds. It doesn’t get much attention, but a significant fraction of traffic crashes are the result of secondary crashes—those that happen after the first crash and are due to reduced speeds, traffic pattern changes, road debris, or other factors related to the initial crash.
Secondary crashes might account for as many as 20 percent of all crashes, including fatal injury crashes. One study even determined how important it is to clear the first incident when it comes to preventing other crashes: On busy roads, the risk of a secondary crash goes up by one percent for every three minutes that a primary crash affects traffic.
The reports don’t indicate what charges might be involved in this crash. If any are ultimately filed, they could include failure to yield, improper lane change, or similar violations. With so many vehicles and drivers involved, it’s sure to be difficult to determine exactly what happened and who was responsible, if indeed responsibility can be pinned on any one driver. Untangling both any criminal responsibility and any civil liability will take perseverance and commitment.
When you’ve suffered an injury in a car crash, you need to choose an attorney who will diligently represent you as your case moves forward. At Craig Swapp & Associates, we apply our extensive automobile accident law experience to each case with the determination that our clients deserve.
We offer a free consultation to each client to discuss the details and decide how to proceed. Schedule your appointment today by calling 1-800-404-9000 or by reaching us online through the form below. You can also launch the LiveChat feature from any page of this website for answers to your basic questions.