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Teen's death adds to the toll of tragic car accidents in Texas

The reports of tragic deaths of high school students in vehicular accidents seem to never subside, including in Texas. The portrayal of the lives and bright futures lost is devastating to the families and friends of the victims in such car accidents. The most recent heartbreaking story is about the death of a 17-year-old girl on a rainy road in Arlington on March 5.

Her 17-year-old boyfriend lost control of the vehicle in which they were riding when it reportedly hydroplaned on the rain-soaked road at about 9:30 p.m. The car came to a stop on the inside lane of eastbound I-20. It was facing sideways. A vehicle heading east then crashed into the car, causing severe injuries to the driver and killing the passenger.

The mother of the victim showed remarkable restraint and extended prayers for the boyfriend, whom she felt should not have to feel guilty for what was essentially a horrible accident. The two teenagers were both high school seniors. Just a few days earlier the decedent had been tweeting a photo showing her acceptance to Texas Women's University.

The decedent's family has the right to make a wrongful death claim against the operator of the vehicle she occupied. They also may have a claim against the driver of the vehicle that crashed into the stationary car. Although the operator of the first vehicle may have been driving too fast for conditions, in that he failed to keep the car under control under wet conditions, a similar kind of carelessness could be attributed to the second driver.

In Texas, two or more persons may contribute to the causation of car accidents through varying degrees of negligence. In most instances, each negligent driver can be liable for damages claimed by the decedent's estate, generally based on each one's degree of fault. Generally, a driver has a duty to keep a lookout ahead and avoid  collisions. Those factual details must be fleshed out to determine whether the second driver is liable through his or her negligence.

Source: wfaa.com, "Hurst teen killed in traffic crash on Arlington highway", David Goins, Mar. 6, 2017

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