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Texas gas tanker and SUV collide, incinerating five victims

This accident scene looked like a towering inferno had swept though, leveling everything in sight.

The collision happened at the intersection of two rural roads. An SUV and a gas tanker collided in a ball of flames, scorching the earth around the two vehicles. None of the five teens in the SUV lived to see another day and the tanker driver was critically injured.

In the course of reconstructing the accident to determine how it happened, investigators found that the SUV driver had run a stop sign. It was a fatal error in judgement, one that put the SUV right in the path of the gas tanker. The truck slammed into the passenger’s side and the subsequent explosion and fire incinerated everyone in the SUV. The trucker, still alive when first responders arrived, was flown to the nearest burn unit.

Police at the scene and first responders noted with grim realization that yet another accident had claimed several young adults that had their whole lives yet to live. In Texas, the crash statistics show that accidents were responsible for almost one quarter of the deaths for those in the 15- to 24-year-old age range in 2010. The figures, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show vehicle accidents lead the parade of teenage deaths, outstripping suicides, homicides, gunfire and accidental poisonings.

Despite the serious nature of this particular accident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims traffic fatalities have been declining since 2005. Their figures indicate there were 43,510 deaths in 2005, and 32,367 in 2011. While the numbers are still high, they are apparently lower each year than they have been since 1949. In 2009, traffic accidents were deemed to be the eleventh leading cause of death in the nation.

Numbers do not reveal the faces and lives behind the accidents, nor the families left behind as a result of someone’s negligence. In this case, the driver of the SUV was negligent by running a stop sign. Five people died and one was seriously injured as a result of that decision. It would not be surprising if there were several wrongful death lawsuits and a personal injury lawsuit filed in the wake of this terrible crash.

The families of those who died need to move forward and would likely wish to send a message to other teens about the necessity of driving with due care and attention to the rules of the road. Life can change in an instant. Life can come to an end in an instant. A wrongful death lawsuit can become an effective vehicle to send that message to others. A skilled Austin injury lawyer is the voice those in grief need to deliver their concerns to others.

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