Washington State Patrol responded to several crashes Wednesday, February 27, 2019 after several inches of snow fell and temperatures remained below freezing. A 29-year-old woman lost control of her car and hit a semi-truck head-on killing her instantly. This happened on Highway 26 near Washtucna.
In another accident, a 62-year-old man also lost his control of his vehicle and collided with a semi-truck on State Route 231 five miles north or Reardon. The Washington State Patrol said the man died at the scene, and they closed the road for several hours while investigators worked the scene.
Troopers closed a total of five roads, a couple in several locations. Some of the closures were because of accidents, and others were to prevent more collisions. The WSP also said that there were several injuries, but the figure and the severity was unknown at the time.
Snow and Ice Accidents
Each year winter brings snow and ice to parts of the country which leads to accidents, injuries and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are around 400,000 crashes caused by snowy or icy road every year. Both snowy roads and icy roads present their own problems.
With snow, cars get stuck and struggle to get traction. Many accidents happen when other cars approach the stalled cars and are unable to avoid a collision. With snow, the accumulation on the roads will diminish either by being plowed or the snow melting during the day, and then at night the snow freezes hard creating more hazard for the morning commute.
Also, when snowy roads get plowed, many motorist can get around better and then get a sense of false security and start driving too fast for conditions.
Ice creates a different type of danger for motorists. Ice is just plain slick, however, few road are 100 percent covered in a sheet of ice, so motorists can usually get moving, but this can also create a false sense of security and drivers will lose control when they hit the icy spots on the road.
Another problem is black ice which usually happens when it rains and then freezes, but the roads look ok. These accidents can be severe as motorists will get up to their usual speed thinking everything is ok.
Snow and Icy Road Injuries
When cars collide in slick road conditions, many times the damage and injury can be severe because drivers are unable to take defensive measures. Cars will spin out and leave the road, hit guardrails, cross centerlines and rollover. All of these accidents can lead to serious injures and fatalities. Some of the commons types of injuries seen in these conditions are:
- Broken Bones: Legs, wrists and ribs are the most common.
- Head Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injuries, concussion and even brain damage can happen.
- Deep Lacerations: Severe cuts can happen especially in rollover accidents tangled metal, plastic and glass can cause injuries.
- Deep Contusions: Getting thrown around inside a vehicle can cause severe contusions.
Do I need an Attorney?
When people are injured and the cause seems to be the weather or road conditions, many think that they are not entitled to compensation because no one is really at fault. This isn’t the case. If a driver is operating his or her vehicle too fast for condition, then the law can consider the driver negligent and responsible for their actions.
The best thing to do if you are injured while driving in the snow and ice is to talk to an attorney who is experienced in these types of crashes. The lawyers at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., have the experience with icy and snowy road crashes. They have the skill, experience and resources to go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call them at (509) 926 4900, or send them a message by clicking here.