Wrong-way Missouri car crash results in death, injuries

About an hour east of Joplin, a Missouri man was recently killed as he drove the wrong way on U.S. 65. The 57-year-old Marshfield man drove south in the northbound lane before slamming head-on into a mid-size SUV driven by a 42-year-old Cape Fair woman.

She was injured in the motor vehicle accident this past Monday morning just south of Springfield. She was taken to a hospital, though officials did not disclose her medical condition.

The man was declared dead at the scene of the crash, the News-Leader reported.

According to a 2012 report from the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong-way crashes are more likely to result in fatalities or serious injuries than other types of highway accidents. One study found that wrong-way accidents on controlled-access highways are 27 times as likely to result in a fatality.

Another study found that more than one-fifth of all wrong-way highway accidents cause a death, compared to just 0.3 percent for all other highway crashes.

Officials said of the Springfield crash that they don’t know why the man was driving the wrong way on the highway.

But studies cited by the NTSB show that alcohol impairment is a major factor in these collisions. Another factor that can be involved: age.

As drivers get older, they become more likely to be involved in such an accident, especially when they are 70 or above.

As far as alcohol impairment is concerned, younger drivers are more likely to be intoxicated and therefore driving the wrong way. Nearly two-thirds of wrong-way drivers ages 20 to 39 had a blood alcohol of at least 0.08 percent (the legal threshold in Missouri), while just 8 percent of wrong-way drivers over age 70 had a 0.08 BAC.

No matter what the cause, these violent collisions so often have devastating consequences.

For injury victims and families who lose loved ones, a legal claim can result in compensation for the financial burden imposed by a negligent driver. A conversation with a personal injury and wrongful death attorney is the first step in that process.

Source: News-Leader, "Police name wrong-way driver killed in crash on U.S. 65; another driver hurt,"Jonathan Shorman, March 17, 2014



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