A Dallas firefighter was killed on Monday night after being knocked from an icy overpass after stopping to help a stranded motorist. WFAA.com reports that the firefighter (who was responding to another accident) was struck by another vehicle that had lost control and crashed into a stopped car and then spun into him. The firefighter fell more than 50 feet to the highway below.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Icy roads have been a considerable problem in the Dallas area with many evenings dropping below freezing (32 degrees). A number of our posts have highlighted the problems motorists have encountered as a result of icy roads. In fact, black ice has been a problem in a number of southern states, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
According to police, the car that struck the firefighter lost control “as a result of unsafe speed.” This is could be an important fact in any future lawsuits against the driver. Essentially, drivers are required to use reasonable care in operating a motor vehicle, especially when road conditions make it unsafe to drive at “normal” speeds. If a driver fails to use such care and it leads to an accident, the offending driver could be held liable for the injuries sustained by others.
In this instance, the family of the fallen firefighter could seek monetary damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of suit seeks compensation for the deceased’s lost future wages, loss of companionship with the person killed, as well as emotional trauma suffered by loved ones.
Source: WFAA.com, “Police report: Ice played a role Dallas firefighter’s death,” Teresa Woodward, Feb.10, 2014