In a recent post, this blog discussed the dangers that can arise when a driver attempts to make a U-turn in his or her car or truck. One of those primary dangers being that the driver making the U-turn can easily misjudge oncoming traffic in the lane into which he or she is trying to turn. When this happens, a car crash may be unavoidable; the oncoming driver might be unable to avoid hitting the turning vehicle, or might crash into another vehicle when swerving into another lane to avoid the vehicle that just made the U-turn.
A recent U-turn accident in the New Orleans metropolitan area followed this typical pattern. A man was driving his Chevrolet pickup truck southbound on North Causeway at roughly 6 a.m. Meanwhile, a driver in a Ford pickup truck made a U-turn onto North Causeway at the point where it meets Melvil Dewey Drive. The driver in the Chevrolet could not avoid the turning Ford and smashed into the side of the vehicle.
The strange part of this auto accident occurred after the initial impact between the two vehicles. The force of the impact sent the Ford pickup truck careening into a nearby building, which happened to be a fire station. The Ford crashed through the kitchen wall of Fire Station 18, but luckily, no firefighters were in the kitchen at the time. According to the director of that department, the accident could have been far worse. The director explained that a shift change was only about 30 minutes away, at which time the kitchen would have been filled with firefighters.
As a result of the accident, workers ended up taking down the entire kitchen wall of the fire station. Remarkably, however, that may have been the only serious damage from the incident. The driver of the Chevrolet went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, though the full extent of this damage were unclear. The Ford driver did not suffer any injuries, and nobody in the fire station was hurt.
Police did not issue any citations for this accident and did not indicate which driver may have been at fault. But, in other similar accidents, the driver making the U-turn is often the one who causes the accident. When an accident like this occurs due to the actions of a negligent driver, any injured people may be able to pursue their legal right to compensation against that driver.
Source: The New Orleans Advocate, "Truck barrels into Metairie fire station after car accident," Ramon Antonio Vargas, July 31, 2015