Fourth of July weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends of the year. Unfortunately, this year was not much of an exception. In the last two days, four people have died and three have been critically injured in rollover crashes in and around St. Louis, Missouri. Police say that the two separate rollover incidents should serve as warnings to the public about the danger of such accidents and should cause motorists to exercise caution when behind the wheel.
The first accident, a single-car wreck, took place early Saturday morning a little after 1 a.m. Police say the crash happened near the I-64 interchange at Kingshighway. The driver of the vehicle, Lydell Templeton, died in the accident that also left two passengers dead and two others critically wounded.
St. Louis police say that Templeton was speeding on Highway 40 eastbound when he lost control of his vehicle. His car then smashed into the median wall and overturned multiple times before catching on fire. The force of the accident was so great that four out of the five occupants of the car were thrown from the vehicle. Police say two people were pronounced dead at the scene while the remaining three passengers were taken by ambulance to a local hospital where one more was pronounced dead.
In another deadly rollover accident, Missouri Highway Patrol say they have launched an investigation into a second deadly crash which occurred on Highway 21 at Route CC in Washington County, MO.
Authorities say that wreck took place at 12:30 in the afternoon on Saturday and resulted in the death of a passenger, 24-year-old Brandon Blankenship of St. Charles, MO. The driver, Brenda Buerk survived, but was seriously injured in the tragic accident. According to officials with state Highway Patrol, Buerk was traveling in a 2004 Chevy Impala at a high rate of speed. Buerk was unable to control her Impala as she went around a curve in the road, ultimately flipping the car several times before striking several trees and coming to a stop. Buerk was taken by Life Flight to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur where she remains in serious conditions. Police say they are continuing to investigate the accident and may press criminal charges against Buerk in the future.
Statements by officials make clear that speed played a roll in both deadly rollover crashes, a tragedy given how preventable such accidents are. The statistics involving rollovers are astounding: rollover crashes represent just three percent of all collisions yet account for 31 percent of all occupant fatalities. It's clear that rollovers are among the most dangerous types of vehicle crashes due in large part to the high incidence of occupant ejection and resulting head injuries. Not only do rollover crashes increase the chance of death, but they also are tied to high rates of potentially debilitating injury. The rate of serious injury in passenger vehicle rollover crashes is 36 percent higher than in crashes where there is no rollover.
Many factors contribute to the occurrence of rollover crashes. Safety experts say rollovers are often caused by unsafe and reckless driving behaviors such as sharp steering maneuvers or speeding, poor road design, and even tire failure. Some categories of vehicles, such as sport utility vehicles and small pickup trucks, are more prone to rollover than other classes of vehicles.
For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, call one of our St. Charles Missouri accident attorneys today at 1-314-863-0500. We will discuss the legal elements of a car crash case with you.
Source: "Three dead, two critically injured in one-vehicle crash on Interstate 64 in St. Louis," by Denise Hollinshed, published at STLToday.com.
Source: "St. Charles man killed, woman injured in roll-over crash in Washington County," by Denise Hollinshed, published at STLToday.com.