There is nothing worse than a car accident in which young people are killed through no fault of their own, except for an accident in which the driver at fault tries to run away and avoid responsibility. Such a tragedy is what happened near Depot Lane on Long Island last Saturday.
Four young women died in a limo that was carrying a bachelorette party from a well-known vineyard, Vineyard 48, in an area of Long Island that is liberally sprinkled with other vineyards. The limo had apparently been smashed in the side by a pickup truck as the limo driver tried to execute a U-turn on Route 48.
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The tragedy happened at a very popular summer destination and unfolded just before 5:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon with many people present to witness what happened. It appears that the truck driver failed to stop in time as the limo was making the U-turn and smashed into its side, almost tearing the vehicle in half.
The truck driver was identified as Southold resident Steve Romeo. It has been alleged that he fled the scene after the T-boning took place, but was soon caught and arrested. At this point he has been charged with driving while intoxicated. It is not certain whether other charges will be brought against him. It appears that his wife came across him coincidentally after pacing along the police demarcation line. She said that he had suffered several broken ribs and was bleeding when found.
The two limo drivers were apparently taken to the hospital, but have come off relatively lightly compared to the eight young female passengers. Three were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, and another died shortly afterwards. Two more were taken to the hospital seriously injured.
One witness who saw the accident said that she thought that the pickup truck was speeding at the time of the crash. Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said that it was one of the worst accidents he had ever seen.
Another witness, who was a resident of the vineyard area, said that the roads leading to the many vineyards were not really designed for large vehicles like limos. He said that at one point 6 lanes converge on each other, making it a particularly dangerous area, especially when vehicles are traveling at speed.
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Without making further comment about this particular tragedy, it is not the only time this summer that accidents will take place because of poor decision-making, causing fatalities or serious injuries. The term “accident” is really a misnomer, as in fact these sorts of accidents always have a cause. If people behaved with common sense and drove carefully, then there would be far fewer of these “accidents.”
In time, there will be at least four young women and two male drivers who will want to know if they are entitled to seek compensation from the person who may have been responsible for their collective injuries. There will also be four families who will be mourning the loss of their daughters and will want justice to be done.
The law allows victims of terrible accidents like these who are seriously injured or have family members who die to seek compensation from whoever can be shown to have been at fault. In many cases, accident victims may have to rely on compensation payments secured with the help of a competent personal injury attorney to help them through the financial crisis that may result from their injuries.
If you or a member of your family is ever seriously injured in any type of vehicle accident and you think that it was someone else’s fault, then you should contact an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer like Richard S. Jaffe Esq. as soon as possible after the accident. Contact him for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.