Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc throughout Massachusetts recently. The State Police are investigating whether the foul weather may have been one of the factors in a fatal accident which occurred on Route 128 in Peabody shortly before 6:30 p.m. on a Monday evening at the end of October. The crash happened in the southbound lanes when an SUV flipped after striking the right guardrail along the highway.
There were four occupants in the car, including the 26-year-old driver. The vehicle ultimately came to a stop upside-down in the passing lane, and the three passengers were all ejected. Both the driver, who was not ejected, and a 31-year-old passenger escaped with minor injuries. An 18-year-old passenger remained hospitalized after the collision, though he was expected to survive and was listed in good condition. Sadly, the remaining passenger, who was said to be 19 years of age, was later declared dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The State Police now have the responsibility to investigate the fatal accident and come to a conclusion as to what actually caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Preliminary reports suggest they will focus on speed and the inclement weather as playing a part. There was no mention of alcohol as a possible factor, though toxicology testing is typically part of an investigation of an accident where someone is killed. The specific family relationships of the car occupants were not disclosed, though it appears that some share the same last name.
The surviving family of the fatal accident’s victim is likely struggling to come to terms with the sudden and apparently senseless loss. As the authorities continue the investigation, the family retains the right to turn to the Massachusetts civil court system if the evidence discloses the driver was negligent in causing the collision. Similarly, those injured have the right to pursue personal injury claims based on negligence. As the family members say goodbye to their loved one, they will inevitably be faced with unexpected final expenses. Whether they choose to seek restitution of those expenses and other damages permissible under our state laws may well depend on further development of the facts and circumstances of this particular tragedy.
Source: The Daily Item, “Lynn man dead, 3 hurt in rollover,” Cyrus Moulton, Oct. 31, 2012