On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Not many people live in Ault, Colorado, but long-time members of the community are familiar with the hazardous patterns of traffic through the area. A recent fatal auto accident on Highway 14 caused some residents near County Road 31 to take action.
Colorado neighbors have seen dangerous activity at the intersection for years, including two fatalities within the last half decade. People who live near the crossroads said they regularly hear screeching tires as speeding CR 31 motorists approach stop signs at the main highway.
Two teenagers were unwilling witnesses to a car crash in May that ended the life of a Severance man. Troopers said a CR 31 driver, surprised by a stopped vehicle, veered his Pontiac into traffic on Highway 14. The rollover crash killed the truck driver who hit the car.
The teens, including a foreign exchange student, did what they could to help the seriously injured, surviving driver before the victim was airlifted to a hospital. The girl’s host family launched a drivers’ awareness campaign after the teens were “traumatized” by the experience.
A family member said Weld County officials were aware of the repeated accidents but apparently had no immediate plans to study or update the intersection. The man said lawmakers may not feel the crossroads is “dangerous enough” to warrant changes.
Local and state government officials are desirous of safeguarding their constituencies. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic process and funding problems often delay or halt safety projects.
Government leaders also act on public safety issues for reasons other than altruism or voter support. Lawmakers and government agencies can be held accountable for negligence when residents are harmed.
A wrongful death jury could decide responsibility for the Ault accident belongs solely to the car driver. Depending on evidence, a plaintiff or court also may feel that some of the blame belongs to officials who knew the fatality might have been prevented.
Source: coloradoan.com, “Ault family hopes for change after second fatal crash near home” Erin Udell, Jun. 06, 2013