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Laws regarding the operation of motor vehicles on New York roadways exist for a reason. Every motorist owes a duty of reasonable care to others on our streets and highways, and other motorists expect us to follow the rules of the road. When that does not happen, drivers place themselves and others at risk of injury or worse. A recent car accident in the Town of Poughkeepsie proved fatal for one driver and caused injury to the occupants of the vehicle she struck.

The head on collision occurred on Vassar Road, not long after 8 p.m. on a Saturday night in January. Preliminary information suggests a 29-year-old resident of Wappingers Falls sought to pass another vehicle as she headed north. In doing so, she crossed a double yellow line and struck an oncoming Jeep Liberty, causing her own death. The occupants of the Jeep included a woman, said to be 23 years old, and a 22-year-old male driver. The driver is a local resident, though the residence of his passenger was not immediately disclosed.

Both of the occupants of the Jeep suffered undisclosed injuries and were rushed to Saint Francis Hospital. Their updated medical conditions were not revealed, though initial reports suggested that each will survive their injuries. A photo of the accident scene reveals that the damage to the deceased woman’s car was catastrophic.

A fatal car accident is always a tragedy. When the evidence suggests that the person who died also caused the collision, our thoughts turn to any others who were injured. In this instance, two people were hospitalized because the driver of the northbound car apparently chose to pass in a no passing zone. As both victims struggle to survive their injuries, they may benefit from gaining an understanding of New York personal injury laws as they apply to this crash. They each have the right to pursue claims for monetary damages sustained against the estate of the deceased woman and any separate owner of the vehicle she was driving, based upon evidence that the woman who died was negligent in a manner that caused the tragic car accident.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “POLICE: Fatal accident kills Wappinger woman, injures 2 Saturday,” Sarah Bradshaw, Jan. 21, 2013