Early this morning, September 16, 2016, a fatal crash in St. Louis County, Minnesota, tragically ended the life of a woman from Rush City, MN.
A 23-year-old man from Janesville, Wisconsin, Austin Wolters, was driving a GMC pickup truck on Highway 70 when it broadsided a Buick Lesabre driven by, Mary Gonzalez, according to the Minnesota State Patrol’s preliminary report. The Buick was crossing Highway 70 from southbound County Road 23.
Ms. Gonzalez tragically did not survive the crash. A passenger in her car, Garrett Stevens, of Rush City, and the driver of the pickup truck were injured.
Establishing Fault in a Broadside Accident
To determine who is at fault in a broadside accident, evidence needs to be gathered regarding the following:
- The estimated speed at which each vehicle was traveling;
- Whether either driver had been drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or otherwise driving while intoxicated (DWI);
- Whether either driver was distracted (for example, texting or talking on a cell phone); and
- The road conditions (they were dry and hazard-free, according to the state patrol).
In some cases, the driver who had the right of way can be held at least partially liable (legally responsible).
It is extremely important to contact a lawyer because each case is unique.
Wrongful Death Claim
“Wrongful death” is a statutory (law-based) term used in cases where someone was legally responsible for the death. For example, if a driver runs a stop sign and broadsides another vehicle, killing the driver or passenger of that vehicle, the family of the person killed in the crash will most likely have a “wrongful death claim” in Minnesota. This means the family can sue the driver at fault (and possibly others) under Minnesota’s wrongful death law, Minn. Statutes, section 573.