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Driver's improper passing leads to head-on collision


A single bad decision by one driver can have life-altering consequences for another. This is apparently what led to a recent fatal car collision near Wynnewood, some 60 miles south of Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that a 29-year-old man driving a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 77 tried to overtake a second vehicle but ran head long into a third car, fatally injuring a 74-year-old man from Oklahoma City. The accident investigation found that the pickup truck driver tried to pass the second vehicle as it was about to turn left into a private drive. Officers believe the pickup driver did not allow enough room before attempting to pass the vehicle turning ahead of him.

The 74-year-old passenger in the third car was first taken by ambulance to the Pauls Valley General Hospital but was later flown to the UO Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he died a few hours later. The 70-year-old driver of the third car, a Wynnewood resident, was not injured.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration defines reckless driving as the reckless conduct or action of a driver through speeding, improper or excessive lane changing and improper passing. Reckless driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents, seriously injuring and killing hundreds of people across the country every year.

Drivers at fault in car accidents caused by reckless driving may face traffic violations and sometimes criminal charges. They may also be held liable for victims' hospital and medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If an accident results in a fatality, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the reckless driver.

Source: Pauls Valley Democrat, "Vehicle pass a bad move," Barry Porterfield, April 18, 2014

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