Single-Vehicle I-5 Crash Reveals Empty Vodka Bottle inside Abandoned Vehicle
A single-vehicle I-5 crash near Blaine on Sunday, November 29 damaged about 50 yards of cable barrier after the vehicle struck the median. When State Patrol and Blaine Police arrived at the scene of the accident about 5:30 p.m., they found an abandoned vehicle and an empty bottle of peppermint vodka along with the suspect’s driver’s license through the broken driver’s side window. When police later contacted the suspect, he admitted to crashing his vehicle and walking away from the scene but claimed he had fallen asleep while driving. Questions about the bottle of vodka went unanswered.
Factors involved in the single-vehicle accident
Although no one else was involved in this accident, there was property damage, and an abandoned vehicle. There are three specific factors involved in this car accident: drinking and driving, a single-vehicle collision and walking away from the scene of an accident.
Drinking and driving:
A drunk driving accident is when a collision occurs because of an alcohol-impaired driver. Drunk driving accidents cause thousands of personal injuries and fatalities every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are an average of 30 fatalities per day caused by alcohol-related crashes. Some times of the year experience lower fatalities while others such as the Christmas holiday period and New Year’s Eve have much higher numbers.
A single-car crash has occurred when only one vehicle is involved in an accident. Often, a single-vehicle accident is a runoff-road (ROR) crash. A ROR accident is when a vehicle leaves the roadway and moves onto the shoulder, median, roadside or parking lane, etc. and then crashes into an unmoving object like a tree, pole, wall or fire hydrant. This is exactly the type of accident that occurred on Sunday except the suspect ran into the cable barrier. In some cases, a pedestrian is hit. In a single-car accident, property damage and personal injuries are the typical outcome. Perhaps surprisingly, single-car collisions carry a higher fatality rate than head-on or side-impact collisions. More than 8,000 people die in single-vehicle rollover crashes in the United States each year.
Hit and run:
Even when there is no one else involved in the accident, the crash may be considered hit and run if the driver leaves the scene before a report can be made. In this case, the property damage and abandoned vehicle needed to be addressed with police before the driver left the scene. It’s important to understand that the initial accident may not be a crime but if a person is unlicensed or intoxicated, they could end up facing criminal charges. Fleeing the scene is a serious crime but, in the moment, many feel it is easier to run then face other consequences. In Washington State, fleeing the scene of an accident is considered a criminal offense. The crime can bring serious consequences, including jail time, fines, and restitution for injury or property damage. The driver may also face higher car insurance costs.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured 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!