A man died and four others were critically injured following a car crash in South Salt Lake on October 28, 2011. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a man driving a Jeep, who authorities say was driving while distracted, failed to see a car stopped in front of him at a traffic light and slammed into the rear of the sedan. The collision in turn pushed the sedan forward into the sedan in front of it. The fatality was a person in the back seat of the sedan, with the other four being passengers in that same sedan. The driver of the Jeep and the car in front of the sedan escaped with minor injuries. The matter will no doubt be reviewed by the South Salt Lake City attorney’s office for possible charges. Recent enhancements in Utah statutes will provide additional penalties to those who cause crashes while driving while distracted.
I send my deep condolences to the family of the man who perished in this crash and my best wishes for a full recovery to those who were injured.
Distracted driving has become epidemic, with statistics showing that more people are injured as a result of distracted driving than by those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It just takes a moment of distraction to create a situation where someone can be seriously hurt, or as in this case, killed. The person who caused this crash will have to live with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their life and will assuredly regret the decision to look down at their phone, text, or do whatever it was that led to the distraction.
Legally speaking, the family of the deceased and those injured will have a claim against the driver of the Jeep and if they had insurance or lived in a household where there was a car insurance policy, will want to make an “under-insured” claim with that carrier(s).
Ron Kramer is a car accident and personal injury attorney and serves clients in Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties.