Serious Saugerties Car Accident Results in Death of Four
A tragic accident in the Ulster County town of Saugerties resulted in the death of four, and spinal injuries for the car’s driver, as well as a great deal of property damage. The group, four men in their twenties and the 19-year-old female driver of the Honda Civic, was traveling from a shift at a lounge in a horse show facility. For three of the men, they were completing their first day on the job.
The driver had taken a shortcut along a narrow residential street to avoid traffic. At the spot where that street contains a sharp turn, it appears that the driver missed the turn and continued forward. This took the Civic over an embankment. The car flipped over before hitting a home below the embankment. The force of the impact was such that the home was declared to be uninhabitable after the crash; several water pipes burst with the impact, flooding the home’s basement. The driver had to be extracted from the vehicle and was sent by helicopter to a local Albany hospital. She is currently in stable condition with a spinal injury. The four passengers were declared dead at the scene of the accident.
Saugerties police are currently investigating the causes of the accident, which are particularly murky. There is no indication that the car braked before going over the embankment; in fact, there is some indication that the driver sped up before going over the embankment. There is no indication of any criminal activity or alcohol use prior to the crash, though police are continuing to investigate all possible scenarios at this early stage.
This accident involves a number of complex liability concerns. First of all, the families of the passengers may have claims for wrongful death against the driver. Second, the driver may have a claim against the car manufacturer or repair person if a mechanical malfunction led to the crash, or against the municipality if there was inadequate signage along the road. Third, the homeowner may have a claim against the negligent party for the damage to the home. In any event, a determination of the cause of the accident will have major significance and wide-ranging repercussions.