As winter conditions pose additional hazards on the roadways, the Washington State Patrol recommends that people slow down, know when to use 4-wheel drive or tire chains, and seek a safe place to pull over when adding chains. Unfortunately, an attempt to add safety chains on the shoulder of Interstate 90 put two young men in the path of danger on December 15.
A 22-year-old man from Seattle and a 20-year-old Burien man suffered serious injuries when they were struck by two vehicles that collided and lost control on the snow covered interstate. According to a State Patrol officer, the two young men pulled onto the right shoulder of the interstate to add chains to the tires of a Toyota Corolla.
While the young men were affixing the tire chains, a Toyota pickup traveling in the left lane of the interstate lost control and collided with a Honda Pilot traveling in the right lane. The two vehicles became entangled and slid together into the shoulder where they ran over both men and caused minor damage to the Toyota Corolla.
An investigation revealed that the Toyota pickup had been traveling in 2-wheel drive at the time of the accident, even though it had 4-wheel drive available. A State Patrol trooper said that car accidents all too often are caused by drivers traveling too fast for road conditions.
Although the drivers of the vehicles that lost control escaped injury, the two young men paid a heavy price for their efforts to be safe and responsible drivers. Their injuries may lead to staggering medical bills, financial consequences including lost wages and potentially long-lasting physical pain and suffering. The injured men may need to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney in order to ensure that they receive fair compensation for the toll that careless driving may take on their lives today and into the future.
Source: Bellevue Patch, “Two Seriously Injured in Saturday I-90 Accident While Chaining Tires,” Dec. 17, 2012