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Driving on wrong side of the road, woman dies in car accident

In New York and elsewhere, when a driver is operating on the wrong side of the road and heading into oncoming traffic, it’s often a formula for tragic consequences. A driver must have control of his or her vehicle at all times while operating it on the road. The driver must be looking ahead and knowing what lies ahead. When the driver has lost concentration and is in a car accident while driving on the wrong side of the road, she will almost always be determined to be the primary at-fault party for liability purposes.

A car accident with those facts occurred in the afternoon of May 27 on the eastbound lanes of State Route 17 in Tioga County. A 79-year-old woman was reportedly operating her Ford Escort in a westerly direction on the eastbound lane of that road. Thus, she was driving on the wrong side of the road, heading directly into oncoming traffic, according to police reports.

Those facts can create severe and permanent emotional trauma for the driver who is traveling in the right direction and finds himself placed into an immediate crisis mode. The oncoming car may approach obliquely and so suddenly that the driver cannot react in time to avoid a collision. Almost always, the driver heading in the right direction and his passengers, if injured, will have a claim for personal injury damages.

In this case, the unfortunate victim was a man driving a 2012 Ford Pickup in the eastbound lane when he was struck head-on by the oncoming Escort. The woman in the Escort was declared dead at the scene. The pickup driver and his two passengers were taken to the hospital with what was described as “non life-threatening” injuries.

The injured persons may have viable claims for personal injury damages against the estate of the deceased driver. In New York and elsewhere, the initial reports of minor or not life-threatening injuries in a car accident should be taken in perspective as an initial impression only. Actually, injuries that are seemingly not serious initially sometimes turn out to be major events requiring surgery and extensive treatment, and can even result in long-term disability.

Source:, "Fatal Head-On Auto Accident in Tioga County", Paula Dooley, May 28, 2014

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