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Collision on I-65 in Bartholomew County Leaves One Dead

Jason Reese

Early Wednesday morning, a two-car accident on I-65 resulted in the death of a Seymour man. A little after 3 a.m., both cars were traveling southbound between Columbus and Seymour, Indiana when the rear-end collision occurred. Coledon Hoeltke, age 21, was driving his Chevy Silverado when he collided with the back of a Ford Explorer driven by 19-year-old Nikson Cribs. The initial investigation indicates that Cribs was driving very slowly, possibly due to mechanical or other trouble with his vehicle.

Hoeltke was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening. Nikson Cribs was declared deceased at the scene of the accident. Though toxicology results are pending, as is standard in fatal accidents, it is not believed that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. This investigation is ongoing.

Rear-End Collisions Are Dangerously Common

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that out of the nearly six million car accidents every year, 40% are rear-end collisions, making them more common than any other type of road collision. The remaining 60% of accidents are a combination of head-on collisions, rollover accidents, t-bone collisions, sideswipe accidents, single car crashes, crashes with pedestrians or bicyclists, and wildlife-vehicle accidents.

There are many causes for rear-end collisions. The top contributors to this type of accident include distracted driving, following too closely (or tailgating), driving under the influence, excessive speed, and hazardous weather conditions.

Fault in Rear-End Collisions

In general, the person in the following vehicle is often found to be at-fault for the accident due to a lack of attention or for following too closely. That said, there are many factors that may play into the determination, which can become complex. Once all aspects of the accident have been considered, fault may belong to either driver entirely or be shared by both.

The front driver can be found partially or fully at-fault in instances such as when he or she breaks suddenly, particular at high speeds. In this case, the rear driver’s following distance will also be reviewed.

If a road hazard causes the accident, it may prevent the rear driver from being found at-fault. Similarly, if your car has a sudden and unexpected malfunction leading to an accident, you may be found to be not-at-fault. The situation may be considered differently if you are aware of the defect, a need for maintenance, or the possibility of a malfunction. As mentioned above, weather conditions can also play a role in rear-end collisions, but again, the rear driver’s following distance will always be reviewed in conjunction with the other facts.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence behind the wheel of a vehicle, Wagner Reese can deal with the insurance company while you focus on recovering. Our Indianapolis-based vehicular accident attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical bills, future care, and the pain and suffering you are experiencing as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Call us today for your FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440.


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