- August 9, 2019
- Attorney Matt Stoddard
- Catastrophic Injury
Two people were killed and seven more injured when an InCommunity van crashed into a tractor-trailer that was stopped in a left turn lane on July 15th, 2019. InCommunity is an organization that supports adults with special needs, and the van was taking program participants with intellectual and physical disabilities home at the end of the day.
The two fatalities included the driver of the van and one passenger. Six more passengers and the driver of the tractor-trailer were treated for injuries ranging from bruises to probable concussions. The circumstances surrounding the crash are currently under investigation.
Many Consequences of This Crash Will Be Felt for a Lifetime
The driver of the tractor-trailer likened the impact to a bomb going off. He reported attempting to respond to the sounds of screams in the van, but having to sit and wait for emergency personnel to arrive instead due to dizziness and neck pain. These early signs point to whiplash, among other possible lasting injuries, yet he may be one of the lucky ones.
Because many of the passengers have limited communication abilities, correctly diagnosing and treating their injuries is especially challenging. Some may also have above-average difficulty processing emotional trauma due to their underlying conditions. And, of course, one passenger will never make it home at all.
InCommunity May Be Liable for Injuries and Wrongful Death
Drivers hold not only their own lives but the lives of everyone around them in their hands. Any entity that employs people to drive on its behalf needs to be careful to hire qualified candidates and provide adequate training and support. Situations like this one, where particularly vulnerable individuals and their families have placed their trust in an organization to ensure their safety, highlight the importance of accountability to that trust. Many people are reluctant to pursue compensation from nonprofit organizations like InCommunity, but liability insurance is a required cost of operating, even for a nonprofit, and incidents like this are exactly what it’s for.
As yet, it’s unclear what caused the InCommunity crash. There’s no information on whether the driver was behaving recklessly or aggressively. She may have suffered a medical emergency, or the van itself may have experienced a mechanical failure. It’s possible that this was nothing but a freak tragedy, or it may have been the result of any number of failures on InCommunity’s part to minimize risk to those participating in its programs.
If the van was not properly maintained, or the driver was not properly screened, trained, licensed, and free of known conditions that could make her a hazard on the road, then InCommunity is liable for the resulting injuries and wrongful death. Hopefully, further investigation will help clarify exactly what happened.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious vehicle accident with a professional driver, call The Stoddard Firm to learn about how we can help.