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Investigators work to determine cause of fatal head-on crash

A preliminary report issued by the North Carolina Highway Patrol indicates that two people were killed and one person was injured in a head-on crash on U.S. Route 74 near Hamlet on June 22. At the time of the report, an investigation into the cause of the deadly accident remained open. News sources say that during a scheduled reconstruction of the wreck, troopers would attempt to determine the speed of the two vehicles when they collided. Early reports indicated that alcohol was not believed to have contributed to the fatalities.

State troopers responded to the intersection of U.S. 74 and N.C. Highway 38 near the Richmond-Scotland county line shortly after 3 a.m. They were assisted at the scene by paramedics and emergency medical technicians from FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital and firefighters from Hamlet. One person was hospitalized following the incident, and a section of U.S. 74 remained closed for several hours after the wreck.

Law enforcement officials stated that a 77-year-old Hamlet man, who was behind the wheel of a 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck, was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of the roadway when his vehicle collided with an eastbound 2008 Honda Civic. The man and a 26-year-old woman who was riding in the Civic were both killed.

Liability in the case cannot be determined until the investigation is complete. Although it may seem as if the wrong-way driver is at fault, under some circumstances poor road conditions and improper signage could be factors in an accident resulting in a wrongful death. After all of the facts of the case are known, beneficiaries of a victim who died due to a negligent party could choose to pursue financial compensation in civil court for funeral expenses and loss of future wages.

Source: YourDailyJournal.com, "Two killed in head-on crash", Corey Friedman , June 23, 2014

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