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A July 2013 SUV accident has resulted in reckless homicide charges for the driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox. The 59-year-old Dayton man was apparently speeding in adverse road conditions on U.S. 35 just before noon. According to witnesses, his vehicle hydroplaned, crossed the double-yellow line and crashed into a 2004 Kia Spectra.

According to state police, the Equinox was moving at around 70 mph right before the accident, and witnesses say the driver had been weaving in and out of traffic despite heavy rains and decreased visibility. First responders tried to call for a helicopter ambulance but were told that the rain was too heavy for flight.

The collision caused the deaths of the 52-year-old driver of the Spectra and her 52-year-old husband. Two of the three other passengers in the car also sustained significant injuries. The couple’s son broke his ribs and punctured both lungs, and the couple’s 9-year-old granddaughter suffered damage to her lung and spleen, broken bones and a torn abdomen. The 3-year-old toddler with them was not harmed. The driver of the Equinox was not reported to have suffered any injuries, but this wife underwent surgery on her neck and had a broken collar bone and broken ribs.

The 59-year-old man has also been named as a defendant in a lawsuit on behalf of the 9-year-old granddaughter of the deceased couple. The girl was apparently conscious directly after the impact and watched as her grandparents died. The lawsuit argues that the driver did not exercise reasonable and ordinary care, was not driving at a reasonable speed and failed to maintain control of the vehicle and obey traffic signals.

He turned himself in to Henry Circuit Court 2 and was released after posting a total of $18,000 bond. As shown in his case, it is vital that all drivers on the road adhere to posted speed limits and take into consideration road conditions and adverse weather while driving. When an accident does occur, those involved may benefit from speaking with a personal injury attorney to ensure they understand their rights under the law.

Source:  The Star Press, “Lynn couple’s deaths trigger lawsuit” Seth Slabaugh, Dec. 29, 2013