Sometimes, you hear people describe a motor vehicle accident with the phrase, “That car came out of nowhere!”
While there are certainly crash scenarios where vehicles unexpectedly “appear” in an instant, most collisions can be avoided simply by taking a safety precaution or two. One of these situations involves following large trucks.
Such was the case this week when a head-on collision in Winnebago County hospitalized a 15-year old Rockford girl. On Wednesday afternoon shortly after 4pm, a Ford Mustang convertible driven by a 16-year old girl was traveling on North Main Street about 1.5 miles north of Sturbridge Village Shopping Center. The Mustang, which was following a garbage truck, tried to make a left turn into a private drive. But when the car crossed the center line, it was struck head-on by an oncoming Oldsmobile Intrigue. The passenger in the convertible suffered serious head injuries and is now recovering at Rockford Memorial Hospital.
The investigation into the accident is still ongoing, and charges have not yet been filed against either driver. But judging by the facts in the article, a likely scenario appears: the Mustang driver was following so closely behind the garbage truck that she was unable to see oncoming traffic before she made her left turn.
To the 16-year old, the Intrigue probably “came out of nowhere.” However, had the girl been maintaining an appropriate following distance behind the garbage truck and/or paused to let the truck clear her field of view before she made her left turn, she probably would have seen the Intrigue and avoided the head-on collision.
The article does not state whether the Mustang’s driver and passenger are related. But if they are not, the parents of the 15-year old have solid grounds against the 16-year old for a personal injury lawsuit. In addition, the female driver of the Intrigue and her two small children, all of whom were hurt in the crash, could also seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the 16-year old. Any such suit would name the driver’s parents as defendants because she is a minor.