• July 18, 2017

Latonya Champion Killed in Upshur County, TX, Car Accident

Upshur County, TX -- July 17, 2017, Latonya Champion was killed in due to an accident in which the vehicle she was in overturned off-road.

Authorities from the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that the incident occurred south of Gilmer along US Highway 271 at around 9:00 p.m.

Preliminary investigations indicate that 42-year-old Champion was a passenger in a Chevy Tahoe that was northbound on the highway. The Tahoe reportedly lost control while trying to avoid a slow-moving vehicle, causing it to run off the roadway and overturn.

Champion sustained critical injuries in the crash. She was taken to Good Shepherd Hospital for treatment where she eventually succumbed to her injuries. Three others from the Tahoe, including two children, were treated with minor injuries.

Police did not report any charges or citations. The exact cause of the accident is unclear.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Reports haven't been very clear on this, "slow-moving vehicle. Did it cut the Tahoe off? Did it have working lights or use a signal? Was the driver of the Tahoe not paying attention? There aren't enough details to go off of in these early reports. As always, this warrants further investigations by an experienced investigator to ensure that all factors are thoroughly considered.

One thing this accident brings up is what the law says about being a passenger in a car accident. Unlike many complicated aspects of the law, this is actually pretty simple. Basically, unless the passenger somehow caused the accident--for example, grabbing the steering wheel--then they or their family likely has a claim against somebody.

Let's look at an example. Say a passenger, who we'll call Mr. Smith, is hurt in an accident where a car ran a red light and hit the car he was in. Mr. Smith would most likely have a claim against that driver for his injuries. Now let's say that the driver of his car was the one that ran the red light. Again, since he didn't cause the crash, he could file a claim for compensation.

In the end, a passenger who is hurt or killed in an accident, in all likelihood, didn't cause the accident in anyway. As such, it's reasonable that they would be able to hold whoever did accountable for their actions. As simple as that is, however, victims and their families still must ensure that investigations are thorough so they can have the clear and tangible evidence they need to support their claim. With this knowledge and a properly constructed case on their side, car accident victims can help ensure they get the compensation they deserve.

--Grossman Law Offices

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