Most residents of Indiana are not aware that drivers have a duty of due care to their passengers. A driver is legally responsible for driving carefully, obeying traffic laws and not exposing passengers to dangers that could be avoided by responsible conduct. The Daviess County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a car accident that was apparently caused by a driver failing to yield the right-of-way at a highway intersection near Odon.
On the morning of June 28, a southbound sedan traveling on Highway 57 was attempting a left turn but failed to yield the right-of-way to a westbound pickup truck. The pickup truck collided with the sedan when the sedan's driver failed to yield to the truck. The driver of the sedan and his three passengers died in the collision. One of the passengers was an adult, and the other two were five and seven-year-old girls. The driver of the pickup truck was hospitalized for treatment of a head injury of unknown severity. Police have preliminarily ruled out driver incapacitation, but the final word on whether either driver was incapacitated by drugs or alcohol must await the completion of toxicology reports.
One of the deceased girls is believed to be the daughter of the driver of the sedan. The other two fatalities do not appear to be related to the driver of the sedan. Early reports of the accident appear to place most of the blame on the driver of the sedan for his failure to yield the right-of-way to the pickup truck. All turning vehicles are required to yield the right-of-way to vehicles that are not turning.
Many questions remain. The respective speeds of the two vehicles was not disclosed. Also, the distance from the collision point of each vehicle will also bear upon liability. Another unknown factor is whether the intersection had any traffic control signs or devices. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in such an accident may wish to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice on the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.