A baby girl was killed in a Maine car accident on the state turnpike in Wells. Four other people were injured in the crash, according to The Portland Press Herald.
It was about 4 p.m. Heavy rains poured onto the roadway. A 22-year-old woman was at the wheel. The 11-month-old baby girl was in the back seat.
The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle, slammed into guardrails and then came to rest along the tree line on the southbound side of the turnpike. The girl’s mother, 21, had been in the front passenger seat of the car. She and the driver were transported to the Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries.
Two other children in the vehicle – a 3-year-old girl and a 4-month-old boy – survived with minor injuries. Those two, identified as the offspring of the driver, had been buckled into proper child safety harnesses. The 11-month-old girl had also been buckled into a child safety seat in the back. However, she nonetheless suffered fatal head injuries. She was transported to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.
Troopers with the state police are still investigating the one-car accident.
Portland wrongful death attorneys know there is perhaps nothing more devastating than the loss of an innocent child – especially in such a sudden and traumatic way.
Given that most motor vehicle accidents are the result of human error, most one-car accidents are the fault of the driver. This is true even when there are extreme weather conditions, such as snow, ice, fog or heavy rain. The reason is because while we can’t control the weather, operators of motor vehicles can absolutely control their response to it.
So for example in heavy rain, a driver may need to significantly slow their speed, turn on their blinkers or even pull over if their vision of the roadway is impaired. This is not to say that this young mother intentionally imperiled the lives of her children, her friend and her friend’s young child. However, given her own youth, it could be at least partially the result of driver inexperience.
Still, it is not necessary in either a car accident lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit to prove intentional harm or misconduct to establish negligence. What is needed to prove negligence is evidence that:
- Defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff/ decedent;
- Defendant breached that duty of care;
- That breach of care resulted in injury to plaintiff/ decedent;
- That injury is compensable.
All drivers owe a duty to their passengers and other motorists to operate the vehicle with appropriate care and caution. That means using extra in inclement weather.
Road safety source AAA recommends drivers in heavy rain:
- Slow down. Driving too fast for conditions (even if you’re driving the speed limit) can be dangerous on wet pavement because tires lose traction with precipitation.
- Keep your distance. Stay 5 to 6 seconds or more the vehicle ahead of you. This gives you more of a chance to slow down or stop in case the vehicle ahead brakes abruptly.
- Know which technology to use – and which to avoid. Traction control is great for rainy days and so is an antilock braking system. On the other hand, the sensors on cruise control and forward collision warning systems can be thrown off during rain.
- If you hydroplane: Ease your foot off the gas. Try not to steer until you’ve regained front tire traction. If you start to skid, continue to look and steer where you want to go.
If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Baby girl dies in crash during heavy rain on Maine Turnpike, May 2, 2016, Staff Report, Portland Press Herald