Head-On Crash on Birch Bay-Lynden Road Leads to Explosion and Reckless Driving Charge
As reported by Whatcom-News.com, on Sunday, January 9, first responders were dispatched to the area of Birch Bay-Lynden Road and Rathbone Road in response to a car versus semi-truck crash. When responders arrived, they found the semi-truck and its trailer in flames and the passenger car about 300 feet away with its engine separated from the body of the car. A field of debris around the scene of the accident indicated that there had been at least one large explosion in the head-on crash.
NWFR team members had to extricate the driver of the car who was then transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center under advanced life support protocol with possible broken bones. The driver of the semi-truck was uninjured, though the truck and trailer were completely destroyed.
An investigation by Washington State Patrol Troopers (WSP) found initial indications that the semi-truck had been traveling westbound on Birch Bay-Lynden Road and the car had been traveling eastbound when they crashed into each other. The car crossed over the centerline and crashed head-on with the semi-truck.
The driver of the car was charged with reckless driving by the WSP.
What is reckless driving in Washington State?
As per RCW 46.61.500 (effective January 1, 2022), any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.
What is a head-on crash?
One of the scariest types of collisions a person can be involved in is a head-on crash. This type of accident happens when the front-end of two vehicles collide, most commonly on a road with no median to stop the vehicles from crossing lanes. According to data gathered by the Fatal Analysis Reporting System in 1999, 75 percent of head-on accidents occurred on un-divided two-lane roads.
Common causes of head-on collisions
- Rural roads, neighborhood roads and other roads that lack a median meant to stop vehicles from crossing over into the opposing lane
- Poor construction-zone redirecting
- Distracted driving
- Failure to maintain vehicle control, failing to pass or overtake another vehicle
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or when fatigued
- Poor weather conditions such as ice
- Breaking traffic rules or ignoring traffic signs and signals
- Being unfamiliar with the area can cause confusion and lead to a driver turning down a one-way road and crashing head-on into another vehicle
The exact cause of the driver crossing over the median and crashing head-on with the semi-truck is unclear but these common causes offer some insight into what may have led up to the crash.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!