Aspiring model Chelsea Gerrish, 20, died in a suspected road rage accident that also took the life of the driver who smashed his red Chevy pickup truck into her SUV, reported the New York Daily News (10.16.13).
Michael Williams, 48, rammed his pickup truck head-on into her vehicle “going about 70 miles an hour,” according to a witness to the crash.
The tragic crash occurred when Williams reportedly attempted to pass a Toyota Highlander on the two-lane road they were driving on. While trying to pass, he struck Gerrish’s Jeep Cherokee head-on.
Before the crash, the couple in the Highlander called 911 to report that the truck driver repeatedly hit their vehicle from behind.
Reportedly, Gerrish played no part in the alleged road rage confrontation. Two female passengers in her car were taken to a medical center with injuries that were serious, but non-life threatening.
Auto accident injuries and fatalities caused by road rage
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), defines road rage as “an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
Anger often fuels a road-rage incident. Other factors contributing to road rage may include alcohol, drugs and personal problems. Whatever the reason for the road rage, every driver is responsible for his or her own driving behavior.
Some behaviors typically associated with road rage include: aggressive and excessive speeding, tailgating to pressure a driver to go faster or get out of the way, headlight flashing, and unsafe lane changes.
According to an AAA study, over a period of 6 years and 8 months, there were at least 10,037 incidents of aggressive driving in the U.S. that were reported to Louis Mizell, Inc, a corporation that maintains databases of crime reports in Bethesda, Maryland. As a result of these incidents, 218 men, women, and children or more were murdered and 12,610 people injured. Vehicles were one of the most “powerful weapons” used by the aggressive drivers.
Drivers who contribute to or cause collisions and subsequent personal injuries intentionally may be held accountable.
Compensation and justice for road rage related auto accidents in New York
Individuals who were injured in an auto accident due to another driver’s road rage or aggressive driving should consult with an experienced auto accident attorney who can investigate the evidence, interview witnesses, collect accident reports, examine medical reports and call-in accident reconstruction experts, as needed. Damages that may be recovered include medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering. If a loved one died as a result of a road rage auto accident injury, lawyers at The Perecman Firm can seek survivor’s damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.