Two Yakima residents were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after a near-fatal car accident. According to police reports and eyewitnesses, the driver of the vehicle may have been engaged in a street race during the early hours of May 6 which ended in tragedy.
Both the 17-year-old driver of the vehicle and his 33-year-old passenger were originally transported to Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center. The driver was then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to the seriousness of his injuries.
Witnesses to the accident indicated that the driver, who was operating an SUV, may have been racing another driver at a high rate of speed down southbound 72nd Avenue just after 5:00 a.m. The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle in the intersection of Tieton Drive, causing the SUV to collide with a fence, a utility pole and a parked car before finally hitting a tree and coming to a stop.
Part of 72nd Avenue was shut down for a number of hours in order for the city to make the necessary repairs to the utility pole and clean up the wreck.
Street racing has been around for as long as cars have been around. Although once the domain of young teenage boys, girls have been known to engage in the “sport” as well in recent decades. There has always been something about speed and risk that seems to draw teenagers. Street racing is done not only by teenagers, though. Grown adults often bet on street races just as they would bet on a horse race, despite the fact that they should have the maturity and experience to understand the risks associated with this dangerous practice.
Street racing puts not just the drivers at risk, but passengers as well, as this story illustrates. Worse still, innocent bystanders can be injured or killed when a street race goes awry.
Although we do not know the extent of the injuries suffered by either driver or passenger at this time, they were both in serious condition shortly after the accident. We also do not know whether the passenger consented to be involved in the alleged race or whether he himself was basically an innocent bystander.
If the accident was the result of a street race, the drivers of both vehicles could potentially share the blame for the accident, depending on the precise cause of the accident. In this case, the passenger of the vehicle could have a claim against the driver for his injuries. Had an innocent bystander been injured as a result of the street race, those injuries would certainly be compensable. Because the driver of the vehicle was a minor, his parent or legal guardian may ultimately be held financially responsible for the costs associated with this tragedy.
If you have been injured in a Yakima car accident and would like to make an appointment for a free consultation, contact the team at Mariano Morales Law today by calling (509) 853-2222, or use our online contact form.