By Pendergast Law on August 15, 2017
A fatal crash that occurred just outside of Lynwood, Washington, on July 27th has left three teenagers dead and another one in the hospital. Since the teens may have been somewhat negligent, it’s raised the question of liability, leaving many wondering what exactly caused this accident and who’s to blame.
The crash happened at around 4 a.m. when four teenagers were traveling north on Alderwood Mall Parkway in an SUV. The driver left the lane he was traveling in and crashed into the front of a trailer that was parked along the side of the road. The SUV hit the trailer with such force that it slid underneath the trailer, taking the entire roof of the SUV entirely off in an “underride accident.” Investigators at the scene did consider the speed of the SUV to be a factor.
The trailer did not have a truck attached to it, which is legal in Washington, but it was parked facing the wrong direction. When truckers park their trailers on the side of the road, the trailer needs to be facing away from traffic, but in this case the front of the trailer was facing oncoming traffic. This would normally be considered a minor traffic infraction.
Snohomish County investigators at the scene stated that they did not know the cause of the crash, and the investigation is ongoing. Both the SUV driver and the driver of the tractor-trailer truck were partly to blame for the accident. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that there were no outside witnesses.
The surviving teenager is a student at Cascade High School, while the three deceased teenagers attended Jackson High School. Dave Peters, current principal at Jackson High School, has sent a letter home, which he hopes will help parents of other students who are now dealing with grief and confusion. Jackson High School was also open temporarily to offer professional counseling to any students who wished to visit.
While these cases are rare, they do happen. If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, and you’re unsure who to hold liable, contact Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at 888-539-9211.