Accident investigators in West Virginia are sifting through evidence collected on Oct. 12 to determine what may have prompted the driver of a Volkswagen sedan to cross the center line and enter the path of oncoming traffic in Wood County. Four people were injured when the Volkswagen subsequently struck an approaching Chevrolet head-on. The accident took place near the intersection of Dutch Ridge Road and Staunton Avenue in Parkersburg at about 9:30 a.m.
According to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the driver of the Chevrolet, who was heading westbound at the time, tried unsuccessfully to avoid the oncoming Volkswagen. The force of the head-on collision caused the Chevrolet to spin out of control, and first responders report that they discovered the vehicle lying in a ditch with a badly damaged front end. While paramedics had little difficulty getting to the two people who had been traveling in the Volkswagen, firefighters were called in to use cutting equipment to free the Chevrolet’s two occupants.
Three of the vehicle occupants were transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Two of them suffered minor injuries and were released shortly afterwards, but the third was more seriously hurt and required further treatment. The fourth accident victim was transported by helicopter to a Level 1 Trauma Center in Kanawha County with what were referred to as life-threatening injuries.
Wrong-way motorists are often distracted, fatigued or intoxicated, and they may face both civil and criminal sanctions when their negligent driving and reckless behavior causes serious injuries or death. Catastrophic motor vehicle crashes are generally investigated thoroughly by law enforcement, and police reports and accident investigations may provide personal injury attorneys with the evidence they require to establish liability in lawsuits filed on behalf of accident victims.