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Cell phone use could be to blame: 2 killed, 1 injured

More often than not, motorists do not fully understand the risk they undertake every time they drive on Colorado roads. These dangers are real and ever-present each time someone gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. Furthermore, these dangers may be exponentially compounded when a negligent driver chooses to use their cell phone while driving. On March 31, a man thought to be operating his cell phone while maneuvering his vehicle gravitated towards the dirt shoulder of a roadway north of Denver, causing a fatal accident that killed two men and seriously injured a teenage boy.

Reportedly, drivers operating their vehicles both behind and in front of the man observed his pickup truck drifting outside of his eastbound lane before he hit the three victims. The two adult victims died at the scene of the fatal accident, and the teenage boy was airlifted to a local hospital in critical condition. The driver of the pickup truck stopped and called for help. He is being held in regards to a pending investigation of careless driving resulting in death, which is a misdemeanor under Colorado law. His cell-phone was also seized as potential evidence.

Sadly, many fatal accidents such as this occur on Colorado public roads and highways all too often. Having situational awareness while driving can help motor vehicle operators increase their chances of getting to their destination without becoming involved in a collision. The families of the two victims that were killed and the seriously injured teenage boy will want to review the fatal accident report and other available evidence to determine what exactly happened.

Colorado personal injury law provides surviving families of fatal accident victims civil remedies against negligent parties for the death of their loved one. Examples of recoverable claims are property damage, medical bills, lost future earning capacity and pain and suffering. Similarly, the severely injured teenager may consider a personal injury claim, which would also be based on claims of negligence against another party. While nothing can undo what tragically occurred, the law can offer some sense of solace by holding negligent parties accountable for their wrongdoing while also permitting an award of monetary damages to compensate victims and families.

Source: Star-Telegram, "Cellphone use suspected in fatal accident in Colorado," Kirk Mitchell, Michael Booth and Kristen Leigh Painter, April 1, 2012

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