Often, we tend to think of tragic car accidents as a collision between a negligent driver and another unsuspecting vehicle. Indeed, stories about drunk drivers striking other motorists are unfortunately a common headline. But we tend not to think about a dangerous driver's own passengers-perhaps thinking that they must be somehow implicitly involved in the accident. But a tragic story came out of Tennessee this week that shows how the passengers of a negligent driver are just as innocent as any other victim.
A single vehicle accident occurred recently on the Ken-Tenn Highway near South Fulton. The vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was being driven by a 32-year-old South Fulton man when he apparently lost control. The Jeep veered left and across the lanes of oncoming traffic, and then slid off the opposite edge of the roadway. The vehicle clipped a culvert, overturned and struck a tree. The driver was ejected from the vehicle, sustaining serious injuries. His passenger, a four-year-old boy, was killed.
Several law enforcement agencies responded to the incident. Police are investigating the potential causes of the fatal accident; their conclusions are not yet known. It is known that the boy was buckled in a child passenger seat, though the driver himself was not using his seat belt at the time of the crash. Police say charges are pending for the man, but they have not yet specified what those charges are.
Depending on the results of the investigation, the child's family may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages for the events leading up to the boy's death. The child had no way of knowing the danger he was in, riding with this driver; as the man's passenger, he was just as innocent as any other crash victim.
Source: NWTN Today, "One-vehicle accident claims young boy; charges pending against South Fulton man," Chris Menees, Oct. 3, 2012