Fireball St. Lucie County Crash Kills Four People
Excessive speed may have contributed to a fiery car accident near the Florida P&L power plant which killed four individuals.
The wreck occurred in the 6000 block of Ocean Drive in rural St. Lucie County. According to witnesses and investigators, a southbound Chevy Cruze plowed into a Ford F-150 as the pickup attempted to make a right turn. The force of the impact caused the Cruze to spin around and catch fire. All four occupants were declared dead at the scene.
The F-150 operator received treatment at a local hospital for serious injuries.
Speed and Port St. Lucie Car Crashes
The above crash clearly illustrates both the effects of excessive velocity in a Florida car crash. Speed increases the risk of a collision and also increases the force in a collision.
Speeding drivers are accident-prone drivers. Velocity multiplies stopping distance. That’s the distance a vehicle covers in the split-second it takes for drivers to move their feet from the accelerator to the brake. At 30mph, most cars stop safely after six car lengths. But at 60mph, stopping distance triples to eighteen car lengths.
As a result, speeding drivers have less time to react to hazards, like a vehicle turning against traffic and moving into their paths.
Speed also increases the force in a collision. Fewer than 0.1 percent involve fires or fireballs. Yet the above crash fell into that very narrow category. Typically, crashes involve fireballs because the gas tank ruptures and leaks. Given the modern safety features which surround the gas tank, it takes a tremendous amount of force to cause that kind of damages.
There are other effects as well. When a speeding car comes to sudden halt, loose objects inside the vehicle, like cell phones, continue travelling in the same direction and at the same speed until they strike solid objects. That object could easily be a victim’s head.
The Last Clear Chance Doctrine in Florida
In right-turn, left-turn, head-on, and rear-end collisions, it’s very difficult to determine who was legally responsible for the crash. Liability for damages is different than fault at the scene. The driver who receives the ticket or is otherwise faulted for the crash might, or might not, be responsible for damages in court.
These kinds of crashes usually involve the last clear chance doctrine. This rule states that if a driver has a reasonable chance to avoid a crash, yet does not do so, that driver is legally responsible for damages. So, in the above case, either the F-150 driver or the Cruze driver could be responsible for damages.
A Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney needs additional facts to make that determination. Moreover, an attorney also needs very strong advocacy skills to convey that determination to a jury.
Team Up with Savvy Lawyers
Speed-related collisions often involve complex legal and factual issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.