The driver of a Chrysler Sebring hit a Cherokee causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic and colliding with five other vehicles. Police say that the driver of the Sebring fled on foot and he is being sought for questioning and on suspicion of a felony hit-and-run.
The accident happened Saturday night, January 2, on I-182 in Pasco. The driver of the Cherokee died at the scene, three others were taken to local hospitals and one was flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Police are asking anyone with information on the driver of the Sebring to call (509) 545-3415.
Multiple Car Wrecks
There are typically two types of multi-vehicle accidents: chain reaction and pile-up. Each of these has have their own characteristics and create unique problems for all involved.
Chain Reaction Crashes
Chain-reaction crashes happen after two cars collide setting off a chain of other collisions with some cars being hit multiple times. Typically, chain-reaction crashes happen on multi-lane highways where the cars are traveling at high speeds. These accidents can cause extensive damage to cars and severe injuries to their occupants as cars roll over, cross the median or leave the road altogether.
Pile-up crashes can technically be considered chain-reaction, but in a pileup, the driver usually hits the car in front of them because they are unable to stop. This happens when the cars involved in the primary collision are at rest and other cars come up too quickly to stop in time.and hit the cars stopped in front of them or those involved in the first wreck. These collisions can be fender-benders to high-impact collisions. Click here to see a video of pile-up crashes on an icy freeway.
Problems with Multi-Car Crashes
Multi-car wrecks can cause extensive damage and they put multiple cars and people at risk until the situation gets under control. The greatest risk after the primary collision is that other cars will pileup into the already wrecked cars or into each other trying to stop in time. Many times, people escape the primary crash with little or no injury only to be severely injured or killed in subsequent crashes.
According to experts, the best thing to do if you are involved in a wreck on a multi-lane highway or freeway is to stay in your vehicle. Though you might fear being struck again, if you are out of your car, you have left the protection of your car, and you injuries will be much worse. It’s also best to leave your seatbelt on.
However, common sense must be used too. There are times like if you smell gas or see flames, it’s best to get out of the vehicle and take your chances. If you do, get to the side of the road to a safe place as quickly as possible.
How is Fault Determined?
Determining fault may not seem important at the time, but if you are injured and unable to work, the financial losses will begin piling up soon. It then becomes important to determine who was at fault. In multi-car accidents, investigators will be challenged to determine exactly what happened and in what order. The scene is often very large with debris and vehicles strewn throughout the area. Some cars are far away from where they were struck and others may have been involved in several impacts. This makes if difficult to piece together the chain of events.
The investigator’s report will typically not offer a conclusion as to fault, but will attempt to explain what happened and in what order.
Do I Need an Attorney?
It’s up to each injured person whether they get an attorney. However, in multi-car wrecks, there are typically several insurance companies covering the many vehicles, and each one is going to point the finger at the other where liability is concerned. You should at least talk to an attorney who can advise you on your rights and evaluate your case.
Call the office of Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., as they can give you unbiased advice. 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.