Paoli Law Firm’s Clients Share Their Experience to Help Increase Winter Driving Awareness:
Paoli Law Firm’s clients, a mother and her two children, were the victims of the horrific crash caught on this highway patrol in-car video on December 28, 2014 when a semi tractor-trailer lost control and plowed into their car on Interstate 90 near Missoula, Montana.
The driver of the semi that slammed into them was using a Blue Tooth cellular device just before the crash and was cited for following too closely, driving in a distracted, inattentive or careless manner, and driving too fast for conditions. The investigation indicated that the semi-truck driver was driving in a distracted manner and beyond her abilities to safely operate a motor vehicle on the road conditions present.
Our client, the mother, was so forcefully ejected from the vehicle (depicted by the red arrow in the median) that she was thrown completely from the shoulder of westbound I-90 (north side) in a southern direction across both lanes of travel and into the I-90 median. Her two children were trapped inside their demolished car that had been violently impacted. Unfortunately, the horror didn’t stop there. Several vehicles continued to travel at a high rate of speed through the scene of the crash, failing to slow down or proceed with caution. As a car attempted to pass a vehicle on the right through the crash scene it lost control and violently crashed into the wreckage. All the while the two children were still trapped in the demolished car. The second crash only intensified the horror the children were undergoing, compounded by their confusion and inability to locate their mother, despite their screams.
After MHP Trooper Palmer located our client in the median finding her so very seriously injured, he began providing aid to her as she lay in the median of the divided highway where she landed after being ejected from her vehicle. Vehicles continued to speed by within inches of her. Highway Patrol Cadet Templeton was able to alert Trooper Palmer of another truck and trailer coming into the crash scene much too fast that also consequently lost control and was headed directly towards Trooper Palmer and our client. As a result of the Cadet’s shouted warning, Trooper Palmer was able to pull our client and himself to safety just in time to avoid being struck by the out of control truck and trailer.
In an effort to share the importance of slowing down for winter driving conditions and when driving through a crash scene to protect yourself and others, The Montana Highway Patrol shared portions of the video captured from its patrol vehicle dash camera of this horrific tragedy and the ensuing sequence of events. We hope you will watch it with this in mind – SLOW DOWN, PROCEED WITH CAUTION AND YIELD TO EMERGENCY VEHICLES. IT’S THE LAW. Drive with care, caution and common sense.
The skill and expertise executed at the scene by Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer and Cadet Timothy Templeton saved our clients’ lives on this tragic day and prevented further injuries. Our clients continue to work hard every day towards recovering from this horrific crash.
Our clients all suffered serious injuries, both physically and emotionally, and their lives have been forever altered as a result of the horrible events of December 28, 2014. Paoli Law Firm is honored to be able to represent this family who we consider our friends and assist them in navigating Montana’s laws and issues regarding insurance and full compensation for their extreme losses.
Slow down to prevent crashes and to avoid further crashes at an existing crash scene.