A 16-year-old girl has died after a collision with a dump truck on her way to her first day back to school in Pittston. According to the Bangor Daily News, the crash happened at the intersection of Route 27 and Old Cedar Grove Road. Her younger brother, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered serious injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.
More than 1,000 people attended a candlelight vigil in the teen’s honor, where she was remembered for being smart, athletic, and positive.
Investigators report the teen driver, operating a Jeep, pulled out in front of the truck. The truck then slammed into the driver’s side of the Jeep, causing the Jeep to overturn and come to a rest on the roof. Both teens had to be pried out of the vehicle by rescue workers. The truck driver, meanwhile, suffered only minor injuries.
The case underscores the fact that as teens head back to school, the roads may be a riskier place during the morning and afternoon school traffic – particularly with brand new teen drivers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in a single year, some 2,330 teens ages 16 to 19 were killed and more than 221,000 injured. That means we have six teen car accident fatalities every single day in this country. While young people ages 15 to 19 represent just seven percent of the population, they account for 11 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries.
Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to die in a Bangor car accident than a driver who is 20 to 25. Males are especially at risk, and the more peers one has in the car, the higher the risk of a serious crash with injuries.
The problem is teens are more likely to underestimate certain risks or fail to recognize risks when they arise. Teens allow lesser headway (distance between vehicles ahead and themselves) than older drivers. Younger teens are also known to have the lowest rate of consistent seat belt use and one of the highest rates of blood-alcohol level. When it comes to male drivers 15 to 19 involved in fatal crashes, 36 percent were speeding, and 24 percent had been drinking alcohol.
Just recently in Porter, Maine, seven teens were seriously injured in a single-car crash when the vehicle veered off the road. Although the exact cause of the crash is unknown, police say there is evidence to suggest the driver had been both speeding and drinking alcohol.
Teens injured in these crashes may have a few different options for compensation. For teens who may have been at fault in the crash, Maine does not have an option for no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as do many other states. However, 29-M.R.S.A. § 2910-A does require a minimum of $2,000 in Med-Pay coverage. Health insurance may also kick in.
Teen passengers, meanwhile, can avail themselves of bodily injury liability from the at-fault driver’s insurer or coverage from their own (or their parent’s) uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This option allows people to collect additional coverage when the at-fault driver either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover all of the resulting damages.
Consulting with an experienced Bangor injury lawyer can help victims of teen car accidents ascertain their legal options.
If you are a victim of a Bangor car accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Maine teen dies after dump truck crash on first day of school, Sept. 1, 2017, By Alex Acquisto, Bangor Daily News
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