We all know how dangerous that wrong-way drivers can be. Motorists rarely expect to see another car coming at them in their lane, and often don’t have time to avoid a collision. But wrong-way drivers are especially treacherous on freeways; not only because of the greater speeds involved, but also because it’s hard for law enforcement to stop them without causing additional problems (after all, police can’t chase them down from behind and pull them over.)
Both of those issues were demonstrated this morning in Las Vegas as a wrong-way driver traveled on U.S. 95. Shortly before 5am, police dispatchers received calls about a Ford Explorer driving northbound in the southbound lanes of the freeway around Russell Road. However, police were unable to reach and stop the sport utility vehicle before it drove a few miles, struck two different vehicles, and slammed head-on into a third. The final crash, which occurred past Flamingo Road, caused both vehicles to catch fire. The wrong-way driver died at the scene; while the driver in the other vehicle, a 58-year old man from Las Vegas, perished a short time later at University Medical Center.
Because the driver of the Explorer died, authorities were unable to determine why he or she was driving the wrong way. When the identity of that driver is determined, he or she could be named as the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of the 58-year old man. Even though the wrong-way driver died, a suit could proceed against his or her estate.