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Wrong-way crash linked to alcohol use kills four

Wrong-way crashes are terrible accidents that too often result in death. The car accident occurs when a driver makes a terrible mistake and enters the highway driving against oncoming cars at combined speeds of 100 miles per hour, until tragedy occurs and the mistaken driver smashes into another car.

Terrified drivers made frantic early Saturday morning calls to 911 in Maryland's Anne Arundel County. The calls were about a speeding Chrysler Sebring driving south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 97. The driver was a 19-year-old girl. She was driving her grandfather's Sebring with two 18-year-old passengers. Police later would say she had been drinking and that marijuana was found in the car.

The teenager drove for miles in the wrong direction, somehow making her way onto westbound Route 50. The tragic accident occurred when a 55-year-old man driving north on his way home from a dinner party did not see the oncoming Sebring on a dark stretch of the highway. He was the last of at least a dozen vehicles to encounter the Sebring. The cars collided and the three teenagers died, pinned in their car. The man died on his way to the hospital.

New research by the National Transportation Safety Board reports that on occasion the wrong-way crash is caused by old age, a tragic mistake by an elder driver. But most often the cause of the car accident is too much alcohol. And all too often the wrong way accidents kill those involved. The study reported that in more than 60 percent of the 1,566 wrong-way collisions alcohol was to blame and 2,139 people were killed.

Family members of those killed in such accidents may bring wrongful death claims against those whose negligence caused the accident.

Source: Washington Post, "Alcohol and old age blamed for wrong-way crashes," Ashley Halsey III, Dec. 11, 2012

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