A Tennessee community is in shock after learning of the deaths of two of its members as a result of a horrific car accident. The crash, which may have been the result of driver negligence, happened as a large group from a local church was returning home from a weekend retreat in a large van. The car crash ended the life of two victims and caused injury to at least nine others.
Tennessee authorities believe that a 21-year-old man was driving southbound on Chapman Highway when he suddenly crossed into oncoming traffic. The driver of the church van apparently was unable to avoid the car as it came into his lane, and the crash happened. The impact caused the church van to roll onto its roof and then continued to roll down an embankment. It came to a rest in a nearby field.
There, eyewitnesses to the collision ran to attempt to save victims caught in the church van as it began to catch fire. Nightmarish stories have been reported regarding the rescue efforts, some of which were unsuccessful. Once rescuers and first responders arrived, an official investigation began. This inquiry is aimed at determining if driver negligence or other factors conspired to lead the car driver to veer into the oncoming lane of the church van.
The young man, if found that he caused the accident through driver negligence or some other factor, may be held liable by the survivors of the deceased and other victims. Victims that have suffered, including surviving family, may be able to make claims under local personal injury laws that are based on proof of negligence and may assist them in obtaining reimbursement for the financial and emotional damages suffered.
Source: Knoxnews.com, "2 killed, at least 9 injured in Sevier County collision involving church van," Hayes Hickman, Sept. 16, 2012