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Head-on crash leads to injuries and charges

Washington State Patrol troopers are investigating whether a 28-year-old Everson man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when his Mazda crashed head-on into a Volkswagen carrying four teenagers. The accident occurred on June 22 around 2 a.m. on Emerson road near Massey road in Everson.

While the Mazda was traveling south on Emerson road, it crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic and hit the Volkswagen in a head-on collision. The driver of the Mazda was taken to a hospital and then booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of vehicular assault.

The Jetta, which carried three 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old, was totaled. All four teens were taken to St. Joseph hospital for their injuries. The 16-year-old driver and her 17-year-old passenger were treated and released. One of the other passengers was reported to be in satisfactory condition, while the fourth passenger was stabilized and transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She was also in satisfactory condition.

A completed investigation report could help a personal injury attorney construct a case against a driver following a serious accident. If the driver is also facing criminal charges in relation to a crash, evidence from the criminal proceedings could be used in a civil court to prove that the driver breached his or her duty of safe and responsible vehicular operation.

A personal injury claim will usually be addressed by the at-fault driver's insurance provider. The insurance company could offer a settlement, but such a settlement may be inadequate for a victim's accident-related expenses, such as medical bills and lost income. The attorney could negotiate for a better settlement or, if necessary, litigate the case.

Source: The Bellingham Herald, "Everson man arrested after head-on crash injures 4 teens", Zoe Fraley, June 23, 2014

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