Chain reaction car accident that killed baby apparently caused by “lost load”

A 6-month-old baby was killed and five other people were injured in an Ellensburg-area car accident apparently caused when a car driving on Interstate 82 lost a cooler. The accident occurred on Sunday around 1:00pm approximately 16 miles south of Ellensburg.

The Yakima Herald reports that the father of the baby, Wesley J. Fletcher, 23, of College Place, slowed his vehicle, a Mazda hatchback, when the car in front of him lost a cooler. Fletcher’s car was then hit from behind by a Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Fletcher’s small son, Milo, died of his injuries at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Fletcher’s wife, Rebekah J. Fletcher, 24, was being treated for undisclosed injuries.

The driver of the pickup truck, Gregg R. Broyles, 52, of Yakima and his three passengers were treated at the accident scene.

According to the Washington State Patrol, charges are likely in this unfortunate accident. Broyles, the driver of the pickup truck, may be cited for driver inattention. The driver of the vehicle that lost the cooler has come forward and he or she faces serious chargers.

Washington state vehicle code, RCW 46.61.655, covers lost or unsecured load. It is also known as “Maria’s Law” for a young woman who suffered serious injuries and permanent blindness after another vehicle lost its load.

A driver who fails to secure a load may be charged with first degree criminal negligence or a second degree misdemeanor. The law expects drivers to exercise ordinary care when carrying items on their vehicle.

Lost and Unsecured Loads a Serious Problem on Highways

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 25,000 motor vehicle accidents and approximately 100 deaths are caused hazards in the roadway caused by unsecured loads. In Washington, the WSP estimates that there are 400 accidents annually caused by unsecured loads.

Drivers often think that heavy objects like refrigerators or couches will stay put in truck beds. However, these items can become loose with catastrophic results.

Washington Personal Injury Attorney Helps Victims

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed, in a motor vehicle accident caused by another’s negligence, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation under Washington’s wrongful death statute. The Farber Law Group has more than 40 years representing victims and their families.

Call us today at 1-800-244-9087.

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