Police in Memphis say they are continuing to investigate a deadly accident that involved an out of control cement truck crushing two nearby cars. The terrible accident left one woman dead and the occupants of the other car with serious injuries.
Police say the accident took place on Third Street in downtown Memphis on a Sunday afternoon. The street was crowded at the time and many witnesses say they are surprised the accident wasn't worse. Authorities say the accident started when a funeral procession that was going heading down nearby Shelby Drive brought traffic to a sudden stop. The quick stop was a problem for the heavy concrete truck.
Witnesses say the driver of the concrete mixer was not paying attention and failed to see the stopped cars until it was too late. At that point, the driver tried to stop his giant truck but when he slammed on the brakes it caused the cement inside the truck to shift rapidly and ultimately tip the vehicle over. When the truck fell, it landed on top of two nearby vehicles, a red truck and a silver Nissan Maxima. The woman in the backseat of the truck was killed instantly. There were several people in the Nissan at the time of the accident and, miraculously, no one in that car died.
Police say they have so far ticketed the driver of the cement truck for failing to maintain control of his vehicle. Investigators say they are continuing to piece together the events of that afternoon, and if they discover that the driver was negligent there could be more criminal charges handed down.
The tragedy surrounding the recent Memphis crash raises tough choices for the woman's surviving family members. They not only have to pay for the woman's funeral expenses, but they then must decide what to do about holding the responsible parties accountable for the woman's death. Wrongful death cases arise in cases just like this, where someone is killed due to the negligence of another person, company or organization.
While such suits involve a person's death, it's important to understand that a wrongful death case is a civil matter and not a criminal prosecution. The wrongful death suits exist because the person who suffered the terrible harm is no longer alive to bring suit against the responsible parties. Wrongful death cases permit close family members to sue in place of the deceased victim, allowing them to collect compensation for the harm caused to their loved one. Wrongful death suits work to provide compensation to the family for the financial loss of a loved one as well as for emotional companionship and other harms suffered due to the negligence of the responsible party.