Failure to Yield Leads to Two Dead After Cole County, Missouri Multi-Vehicle Accident

774604_car_accident_1.jpgJefferson City, Missouri car accident lawyers know that many fatal car crashes occur due to one driver's failure to yield when they are required to do so. A Cole County accident on Wed. August 31 involving three separate vehicles has left two people dead for exactly this reason. The fatal car crash happened at Route C, between South Country Club Drive and Rumsey Lane at approximately 10:44 that morning.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol's report stated that Joan Hamilton, 75, of Lenexa, Kansas and Donald Edwards, 58, of Russellville, Missouri were killed, and Damien Bryan, 40, of Jefferson City sustained minor injuries.

Bryan was crossing Route C and failed to yield to Hamilton's vehicle. Bryan struck the vehicle on Hamilton's passenger side. Fortunately, there was no passenger, or there may have been another fatality resulting from this tragic accident. Hamilton's vehicle overturned as a result of the crash force, and struck Edwards's vehicle on the front driver's side.

Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Rick Worthington, and doctors later pronounced Hamilton dead at Capital Regional Medical Center.

Cole County falls under the jurisdiction of MSHP's Troop F, who reports these as the 37th and 38th traffic fatalities for 2011.

This "failure to yield" accident raises many disturbing questions. Was the driver who failed to yield speeding? Was he distracted, or driving under the influence? Did he simply misjudge the distance or speed of Hamilton's vehicle, leading to the accident? Was he driving aggressively?

All of these questions will need to be answered if either of the deceased's families decides to file a wrongful death claim. The specifics of the accident will need to be known to prove liability. For this reason, Jefferson City car accident lawyers have a seasoned accident investigator on staff. The fact that the MSHP listed "failure to yield" in their accident report shows that they believe there was definitely some negligence on the part of Mr. Bryan. (As always, persons are innocent until proven guilty.) However, no mention of a citation, drug test or arrest was made in the report.

Missouri statute 304.351 details "right of way" laws for Missouri drivers. It explains that drivers entering a roadway must yield to traffic already traveling on that roadway, if there is no traffic control such as a stoplight at the intersection. Failing to yield the right of way creates a situation that endangers everyone, as has been shown by this unfortunate accident.

Violation of statue §304.351 is a class C misdemeanor. If the failure to yield caused injury or death, the court may assess financial penalties. However, families of those killed in such cases may also file a civil suit, known as wrongful death suit.

Contact a Jefferson City, Missouri car accident lawyer immediately if you are injured or a loved one is killed in a failure-to-yield car crash. Make sure your rights are protected, and you understand your options. Call us today for a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation at our Columbia Missouri office.

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Categories: Wrongful Death