According to statistics, approximately 400 victims perish in wrong-way accidents throughout the nation annually. In Connecticut, an estimated 9 percent of traffic fatalities are caused by these types of crashes, exceeding the nationwide average considerably. Those who lose loved ones through a wrong-way collision may have a basis for filing a wrongful death civil suit.

According to Connecticut law enforcement officials, they have limited means for stopping motorists who are reported to be driving against traffic. They are not permitted to pursue them in that manner and must rely on either shutting down the roadway, attempting to slow traffic or by employing studded strips that are used to disable vehicles. Recently, an officer was actively engaged in trying to stop a wrong-way driver by keeping pace with the offending vehicle while in the appropriate lane.

This officer was using his emergency lights while traveling in the southbound lane of I-91 as the 22-year-old driver was headed south in the northbound lanes. Unfortunately, the driver eventually crashed into an unsuspecting driver who was unable to avoid an accident. The impact killed the wrong-way motorist at the scene. The 34-year-old man driving the second vehicle was transported to a Hartford medical center where he later died. The pursuing trooper radioed in for emergency responders and provided details regarding the victims.

Connecticut officials advise travelers to drive in the right-hand lane in these situations in an effort to avoid collisions, as the majority of wrong-way drivers will remain in the left lane in the mistaken belief that they are in the correct lane. Those who have lost loved ones through the actions of negligent drivers often must deal with the burden of monetary damages on top of their emotional pain. An experienced attorney may be of assistance in assembling evidence that can successfully support the filing of a wrongful death civil suit against the parties — or their estates — responsible for their tragic losses.