Anyone living in Colorado knows that just because spring is approaching, it does not mean that winter weather is no longer going to be an issue. Snowstorms often occur well into April or longer in parts of the state, so when a blizzard recently hit, it probably did not come as a surprise. The primary issue with these storms is that they tend to increase the chances for fatal motor vehicle accidents.
One of these blizzards hit the state on a recent Wednesday. Around 200 vehicles ended up stuck on Interstate 25 alone. Parts of this highway and Interstate 70 were closed that night and into the next day due to the weather and road conditions. In the midst of the blizzard, a 52-year-old trooper with the Colorado State Patrol ended up investigating an accident on Interstate 76.
As he conducted his investigation, another vehicle struck him. Emergency medical responders rushed the trooper to the hospital, but sadly, he succumbed to his injuries sometime after his arrival. The driver who struck him reportedly suffered moderate injuries. It is not yet known whether he will face criminal charges in connection with the crash, but officials do believe the man was driving too fast for the weather and road conditions.
This fact could help surviving family members prove negligence in a wrongful death claim. Even though workers’ compensation survivors’ benefits may be available to the family, they may still file a separate claim in civil court against the driver believed responsible. Doing so could provide them with additional damages not available through workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, even if charges are not filed, the family may achieve some sense of justice through a successful civil claim, along with financial restitution associated with fatal motor vehicle accidents.