A Tennessee car crash on Airport Parkway in Kingsport occurred on a recent Sunday morning. The Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit investigated the accident. Three individuals suffered critical injuries resulting from the motor vehicle accident. Police reported that one of the injured victims succumbed to his injuries three days after the wreck occurred.
According to a report by the accident reconstruction team, a northbound driver encountered a southbound vehicle traveling the wrong direction in the northbound traffic lanes. Investigators have not yet determined the reason for the actions of the wrong-way driver, although it was mentioned that the driver was traveling in dark and foggy conditions on an unfamiliar road. A head-on collision followed, leading to incapacitating injuries to both drivers and a passenger in the vehicle that was going against the flow of traffic.
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The seriously injured victims were all rushed to Holston Valley Hospital, which is where the passenger subsequently passed away. It was reported that he had not been wearing his seat belt as required by Tennessee law. The police suggested that may explain the fact that he suffered the most severe injuries. The crash investigation is ongoing, and it was indicated that charges may follow.
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The injured driver of the northbound vehicle and the family of the deceased passenger are entitled to pursue financial relief through civil litigation. A personal injury or wrongful death claim, as appropriate, may be filed in a Tennessee civil court; however, the court will likely apply the state’s modified comparative fault law concerning any claim made on behalf of the deceased passenger. In a motor vehicle accident such as this one, the court may find that the passenger’s failure to wear a seat belt and the failure of the southbound driver to remain in the proper travel lane both constitute negligence. The estate of the passenger may still be entitled to a monetary judgment if the evidence documents that the negligence of the wrong-way driver was greater than any negligence attributed to the passenger. Any amount awarded would be reduced by the degree of fault attributed to the passenger’s failure to wear a seat belt.