Early Sunday morning, a 55-year-old woman was driving with a pregnant woman and two toddlers on I-85 near Belmont, North Carolina. At Exit 27, the vehicle veered off the road and crashed into the exit sign, according to WSOCtv.com. This exit signs was made of metal and concrete, which exacerbated the impact of the crash.
The 21-year-old female passenger was seven months pregnant and critically injured. She was transported to Caromont Regional Medical Center but tragically, both the woman and her unborn baby died at the hospital.
The driver suffered life-threatening injuries and is currently listed in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Fortunately, the two toddlers in the back seat were secured in car seats during the crash and survived, although reportedly one had a broken wrist.
The Belmont Police Department is working with the North Carolina Highway Patrol to try to determine the cause of the accident.
Americans share an almost universal belief that it is the right and decent thing to do to look after a pregnant woman. Beyond having a medical condition, intrinsically, pregnant women carry our collective future. From opening a door to giving up a coveted bus seat, people go out of their way to make sure pregnant women are as safe and comfortable as possible.
Unfortunately, pregnant women are involved in 170,000 car accidents in the U.S. each year. Beyond the actual risk of injury in a car accident, increased stress puts a woman and her fetus at a higher risk for complications and early delivery. We don’t really know how many fetuses are killed in vehicle accidents because states aren’t required to report it. However, reliable studies have found that there are approximately 300 to 1,000 fetal deaths annually as a result of vehicle accidents.
A family who has lost a loved one may want to consider pursuing a wrongful death action against the at-fault driver. When a car accident causes the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child, a family has suffered two losses. Currently, 40 states including North Carolina and Virginia extend the wrongful death action to include death of a viable fetus. Our firm has obtained settlements for car accident victims whose babies were born early, and we understand that the a car accident involving a pregnant woman has implications for two lives, not just one.