The Columbian reports that Kenneth Eugene Burgess, 49, of Medical Lake faces serious charges of driving under the influence, criminal mischief and reckless driving after driving his semi truck the wrong way on a Oregon highway and crashing into a car driven by Katherine Emerson, 24, of Vancouver, Washington.
Emerson is lucky to have survived the crash with the semi without serious injuries because her car is totaled and, when looking at pictures of her vehicle after the accident, it is mangled.
Head on collisions are some of the worst accidents because they often occur on highways at higher speeds. Every year, it is estimated that approximately 350 Americans are killed in head on accidents. Often, the survivors of head on accidents suffer serious injuries including multiple fractures, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
In the past few years, we have seen far too many head on accidents on northwest highways:
- In 2012, a Seattle boy was killed and members of his family were injured as the family traveled to Yellowstone for vacation when a drunken wrong way driver struck their vehicle.
- In 2011, a wrong way driver was killed and two other motorists were injured on Interstate 5 in Marysville.
- In 2011, Benjamin Cabral drove his car more than three miles on State Route 512, injuring Miguel Salinas.
- In 2010, an elderly woman drove her small sedan the wrong way on State Route 3, injuring two.
- In 2010, Orlando Rivera, 35, was killed in Pasco when Lori Christensen struck him after driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 397.
- In 2008, Randall G. Trivett was seriously injured when a wrong way driver hit him on Highway 2 near Leavenworth.
These are but a few of the cases we were able to pull from our files.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about half of all wrong way accidents are caused by drivers attempting to make a U turn. The other major cause is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A less common cause is an elderly driver who either suffers from confusion or poor eye sight becoming confused.
If you or a loved one has been in a head-on auto accident caused by a wrong way driver, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. At The Farber Law Group, we have more than 40 years experience representing car accident victims and their family members for more than 40 years. Call us today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.