Girl killed in Dallas car accident involving wrecker

It appears as though wrongful death may be a factor in the case of a girl who was killed in a recent car accident in Dallas, Texas. But any attempt to establish clear liability on the driver of the wrecker, who rear-ended the girl's car, must be reconciled with the fact that the car was apparently having mechanical problems and was slowing down - or stopped - in the center lane of State Highway 121, as the Houston Chronicle reports.

The girl was only nine years old; her mother and sister were injured but survived the accident. According to the Houston Chronicle, the driver of the wrecker was not injured, which is not surprising, given the difference between the bulk of the wrecker and what was likely the much smaller size of the car.

Because motorists have a duty to drive with reasonable care, rear-ending other cars - even cars that are stopped on the highway - is a failure to maintain that duty. It may be that the driver of the wrecker did not anticipate coming up on a stalled vehicle; in either case, the fact that the wrecker "slammed" into the girl's car points toward inattentive and negligent driving.

As an online commentator says, "I wonder how fast this guy was driving. Where does it say in the law that wrecker drivers do not have to follow traffic laws?"

Wrecker drivers have to follow the same law that all other motorists have to follow. Unfortunately, since this wrecker driver did not seem to be paying attention, and may have been driving too fast, a nine-year-old girl had to die because of it.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Texas wrecker rear-ends car, kills 9-year-old girl," 6/9/11


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