Three Killed in Deadly Wrong Way Driving Accident on Interstate 81

Local news stations reported that three people were killed yesterday in a deadly accident on Interstate 81 near Hazleton. The accident was the result of a 24-year-old driving north in the southbound lane of the highway. His vehicle struck a vehicle traveling southbound.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), hundreds of people are killed each a year in wrong-way crashes, when drivers turn the wrong-way into oncoming traffic, causing head on collisions on high-speed highways. About 22 percent of wrong-way crashes are fatal.

Two of the victims in the accident on Interstate 81 this week were pronounced dead at the scene, both were passengers in the vehicle hit by the wrong-way driver. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the other vehicle is listed in serious condition. According to WBRE News, two of those killed were not wearing seatbelts.

The NTSB reported that an average of 360 people is killed in wrong-way accidents each year. An NTSB special investigative report on wrong-way collisions found that in most of the accidents studied over a five-year period, the wrong-way drivers had blood alcohol levels of more than twice the legal limit.

Because most of these accidents occur on interstates and other highways, vehicles are traveling at a very high rate of speed, which contributes to a high rate of fatalities when collisions occur.  Head on collisions is also a very dangerous type of crash.

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli offer tips to protect yourself from wrong-way drivers.

  • Always buckle up, even for short distances, because seat belts save lives.
  • Follow posted speed limit signs on all roadways.
  • Keep your eyes on the road ahead of you at all times. Watch for oncoming vehicles and oncoming headlights. If you are always on the lookout for oncoming vehicles, you have a better chance of avoiding an accident.
  • If you see a wrong-way driver, slow down and pull off to the side of the road.
  • Call 911 to give police your location and a description of the vehicle.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a wrong-way collision, or another type of accident, we can help. Contact the accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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