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Fatal Charlotte Accident Caused by Apparent Truck Part Defect

After a thorough investigation by the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the cause of a fatal accident involving a single vehicle driven by a Gaston County teacher has been determined. State troopers initially suspected that something may have gone wrong with the Toyota Scion that Christina Whelan was driving due to witness reports of an explosion inside the car.

The Highway Patrol’s Accident Reconstruction Team used electronic data from the Toyota as well as scrutiny of the site and wreckage to come to the conclusion that Ms. Whelan’s car had been struck by a piece of debris that was launched over the median from the other lanes of I-85. She subsequently lost control and struck a concrete barrier before her car burst into flames. She died soon after being airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center.

According to the accident reconstructionists, the 20-inch-long, 15-pound metal object that struck the car was a leaf spring from a dump truck, a part of that vehicle’s heavy-duty suspension system. Without any identifying serial numbers or other indications of its origin (such as witness accounts), the Highway Patrol told local media that it was highly unlikely that the responsible party would be identified.

Assessing the Evidence to Identify All Potential Liability

After any highway accident, the full extent of legal liability may extend much further than a personal injury victim or wrongful death survivor might expect. The key in the aftermath of any auto accident: swift and diligent investigation by a North Carolina personal injury lawyer to secure evidence, identify all potentially liable parties and ensure a fair settlement from applicable insurance policies.

Particularly in the aftermath of a catastrophic accident that causes lifelong injuries or death, a thorough review of the circumstances leading up to the accident is crucial. By holding parties accountable for negligent hiring of truck drivers, marketing of defective parts, inadequate truck maintenance or other negligence, a motor vehicle accident attorney can help clients gain access to the significant compensation that may be required due to extensive medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other actionable losses.


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