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2 Texas passengers die when car in no-passing zone loses control

A driver’s actions determine how safe a passenger is. As obvious as that sounds, it is easy to forget the control of a vehicle and wellbeing of all occupants rest with a single person. A driver assumes a passenger approves of his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle. A passenger takes for granted the driver will get them both to a destination safely.

The unspoken trust between a driver and passenger is broken when the operator does something dangerous like driving drunk, speeding or violating other Texas traffic laws. Passengers’ lives and the lives of everyone else on the road are threatened by one driver’s carelessness.

Three motor vehicles were involved in a recent accident in a nearby state. A 28-year-old man driving a Nissan Maxima thought he could get by a tractor-trailer in a no passing zone. The price of that poor decision was several injuries and the deaths of three passengers.

State troopers said the Nissan spun out after striking an oncoming Hyundai. A Cadillac hit the out-of-control Maxima. As the Cadillac veered away, a 27-year-old Texas woman was ejected from the Nissan. She and another passenger, a 54-year-old Saginaw man, were killed. A 10-year-old girl was also thrown from the car but survived with minor injuries.

The Cadillac came to rest along the shoulder of the road. A passenger in that vehicle also died; two others suffered serious injuries. No one in the Hyundai was badly hurt. Reports did not say whether state troopers would bring charges against the slightly-injured Nissan driver for the car accident.

Driver responsibility becomes driver accountability when a motor vehicle operator fails to protect the people who share the vehicle. Liability lawsuits often accompany criminal actions when a crash involves passenger injuries or loss of life. The courts work separately to punish lawbreakers and compensate victims for harm caused by negligent drivers.

Source:, “Names released in multiple-vehicle accident near Moab” Tiffany DeMasters, Aug. 18, 2013

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