Teenager Ejected in High-Speed Auto Accident

Photo credit: WSDOT

Late-night street racing between three SUVs resulted in a serious crash on I-5 in Green Lake, near Seattle. A 16 year-old boy was a passenger riding in the backseat of a 2009 BMW X5 SUV. The teen was ejected when another one of the SUVs hit the vehicle. The force of impact was so strong that it sent the teenager flying through a window and onto the pavement. He suffered multiple fractures but is expected to survive. He is in a very small minority of crash ejection survivors.

Another teenager in the wrecked SUV was injured, while the driver and front passenger were unharmed. Witnesses stated that 2-3 additional passengers left the scene before troopers arrived.

A preliminary investigation by the Washington State Patrol found that two vehicles, described as a silver BMW X5 and another SUV, were racing north on I-5 at high speeds. The racing cars cut off the gray BMW, causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle. He slammed into a barrier and was sent spinning. He came to rest in the left lane facing south.

The other SUVs continued racing on. A spokesman for the WSP said it was unclear whether the wrecked BMW had been racing prior to the collision. The freeway was blocked for more than 4 hours during the cleanup and investigation time.

Anyone with information or who can help identify either of the racing SUVs that fled is urged to contact State Patrol Detective Ruth Medeiros at (425) 401-7719 or by email at ruth.medeiros@wsp.wa.gov.  View original news source: Teen Ejected Onto Freeway.

What is Street Racing?

Street Racing is a form of aggressive driving that is illegal in every state.  Sometimes it’s an organized event or sometimes it is a spontaneous race between cars. However it starts, it puts innocent motorists and their passengers at extreme risk for potential harm because of their utter disregard for the law and others’ safety. It’s a cultural phenomenon that’s been a part of an underground pastime for decades. Street racing is alive and well in many communities across the country and growing in popularity thanks to the likes of big entertainment franchises that immortalize and exploit it for profit. Our “Fast and Furious” fanatics aren’t just on the big screen but are often closer to home than we care to realize.

Reckless driving has been taken to new heights as amateur speedsters treat the roadways as their personal playground for illegal races and caustic behaviors. Unfortunately, innocent travelers and drivers are too often becoming the casualties of their deadly games. Nobody wins when a street race results in a fatal crash or permanent injuries!

Due to high speeds and the dangerous nature of street racing, auto accidents and personal injuries can be very vicious or even fatal. In the case of the teenager in Seattle, he wasn’t just part of the race, he became a casualty of the race after being hit by another vehicle that was racing near him. While not stated in the news story, there’s another safety sideline to mention as well—ALWAYS wear a seatbelt, even if you’re in the backseat!  Using statistics about seatbelts and ejected victims in crashes–there’s only a 1% likelihood he was wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact. The silver lining of this story is it’s a miracle that he wasn’t killed on impact with the road!

Physics Explains Why Seatbelts Save Lives in an Auto Accident

“In fatal auto accidents in 2012, 79 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicles were killed,” a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. “Only one percent of the occupants reported to have been using restraints were totally ejected, compared with 30 percent of the unrestrained occupants.” Learn more about why “Sitting in the Back is No Longer the Safest Best For All

So based on the physics of occupant ejection, any factor that increases the restraining force acting on the occupant or decreases the centripetal force required to stay inside the vehicle has the potential to reduce the risk of ejection. For example, it has long been recognized that seat belt use virtually eliminates that risk of complete ejection in any kind of crash because the seat belt is capable of applying very high levels of restraining force.

Passengers who remain in a car during an auto accident have a greater chance of living.  That means a person wearing a seatbelt is at least 79% times safer than someone not wearing their seatbelt, in the event of a forceful impact.  Bottom line—always WEAR your seatbelts! Learn more about Factors Affecting Ejection Risk in Rollover Crashes.

Penalties for Street Racing

A reckless driving citation and conviction can add up to some severe penalties fast. In some states, it may qualify as a misdemeanor offense and stay on your permanent criminal record.

While it depends upon your state, a few of the consequences you could face if convicted of a reckless driving citation include:

  1. Fines.
    • Can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
  2. Jail time.
    • While most states qualify reckless driving as a misdemeanor, other states have more severe penalties resulting in felony charges.
    • License suspension.
    • The length of suspension will vary according to state.
    • Any other traffic violations or suspensions could affect the duration, and may even result in a permanent revocation.
  3. Points on your driving record.
    • Will vary according to your state.
    • A conviction usually carries the maximum number of demerit points. For more information, review the DMV points systemin your state.
  4. Increase in your insurance premium.
    • Premiums can raise over twice the amount you would see with a common speeding violation.
    • Some insurance companies will completely drop you if you receive a citation for street racing!
  5. Loss of a job.
    • A concern for individuals required to drive as part of their occupation.
  6. Denial of security clearance.
    • Can be an issue with military service members or for other government jobs.

If you commit a second or subsequent offense, punishments will become more severe. https://dmv.org/safety-laws/reckless-driving.php

The short-term highs aren’t worth the long-term lows and the possible fatal consequences. Life is too important to throw it away–literally!

Our Auto Accident Lawyers are Here to Help

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact Fielding Law Group today. You need an experienced car accident attorney who can help you recover and receive financial compensation for damages and injuries resulting from your auto accident. Remember—Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!