In Lynnfield, Massachusetts, a fender-bender turned into a fatal accident. After a taxi rear-ended a Chevrolet Cobalt, both of the drivers pulled over and exited their vehicles to inspect the damage. William Halpin III, 25, from Melrose, who was under the influence of drugs in a passing vehicle, hit both the taxi driver and the parked Cobalt. The taxi driver, from Lynn, died after he was taken to the hospital. Police arrested Halpin for vehicular homicide and for driving under the influence. The other injured victim was a six-year-old boy who was sitting in the Cobalt when it was struck by Halpin.
When pulled over on the side of the road, it is very important to assess the situation of passing vehicles. Although the driver in this case was under the influence, one must always look carefully for oncoming traffic. Remember to turn on your hazard lights and carry the necessary roadside accident supplies in your trunk, such as a reflective hazard indicator to put on the street and a reflective florescent vest.
In the event of a collision, Sheila Varnado, of the Driving School Association of the
Americas, suggests the following:
• Make sure that you are out of harm’s way. Once you are outside of your vehicle, you are at risk of being hit by oncoming traffic.
• If you are disoriented or injured, stay in the car.
• First check yourself for injuries, then check others.
• Only provide medical assistance that you are capable of and trained in. Vernado says: “Anytime you’re involved in a collision, only render aid within your ability.”
• Call 911. You are required to call the police or highway patrol if anyone is injured. Dial 911, or program the highway-patrol number into your cell-phone.
• Write down the other driver’s name, address, date of birth, phone number, car make and model, and license plate number. Varnado says, “Get the full information of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses…This includes driver’s license numbers, vehicle registration and proof of insurance with policy number.”
• For legal and insurance purposes, take pictures using a cell-phone or disposable camera. That way, Varnado says, you can “see how the intersection looked, the weather conditions, icy roads, exactly how much damage was done to the cars, the position of the vehicles, where the vehicles ended up, and the severity of the collision for example.”
• Inform your insurance company.
If you have been injured in an accident and would like a free consultation, feel free to contact one of our attorneys who have over 25 years of experience representing car accident victims.
Car accident in Lynnfield, Mass. claims one life, NECN, March 5, 2011
What to do if you get into an accident, The Boston Globe
The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Altman & Altman can advise you if you have been injured on the road.