The driver of a car picked the wrong moment to try to pass the big rig truck in front of her and a 14-month-old child died as a result.
The driver, a North Carolina woman, was stuck in traffic behind a sizable obstacle: a big truck. Because of the truck, she was unable to see the pickup in the lane beside hers -- which was stopped to make a left -- until she tried to get around the truck blocking her way.
Unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the pickup, the woman tried to swerve around it instead. That put her directly in the path of oncoming traffic. She ended up in a head-on collision with another car.
While it's unclear which vehicle had the child in it, the child was severely injured and died in the hospital shortly afterward.
Early investigations indicate that the little girl was riding in a baby carrier -- but it wasn't being used properly and she wasn't properly buckled into the safety restraints.
For rescue workers, that's probably not a shock. The youngest, most fragile occupants of motor vehicles are seldom buckled into their safety restraints and carriers the correct way. One study indicated that 93 percent of parents make critical errors either when installing the baby's car seat or putting the child into the restraints.
This accident also shows how easy it is for what seems like a simple maneuver -- passing a big rig -- can go completely awry very quickly. The driver of the car should never have attempted to pass the bigger vehicle by switching lanes and blindly gunning her vehicle forward. She should have fallen back far enough to see what was in the lane next to hers before cautiously changing her lane.
Car accidents like these are devastating events. Anyone victimized by a negligent or careless driver should consider all their legal options before agreeing to any insurance settlement offer.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Police: 14-month-old killed in North Carolina car crash," The Associated Press, Nov. 29, 2017