Street Racing Accident Kills Museum Leader in Kansas City — Missouri Car Crash Attorney

By January 23, 2009Auto Accidents

A 50-year-old man was killed Jan. 10 in a crash on Interstate 70 near Kansas City, the Kansas City Star reported. Gregory Hawley, who was known for his role in unearthing the sunken Steamboat Arabia and turning it into a museum, was on his way home from that museum when he was hit by an out-of-control BMW. The BMW was reportedly racing another vehicle on the highway when the driver lost control and hit Hawley’s pickup truck. The truck left the highway and rolled over, throwing Hawley from the vehicle and killing him. The BMW’s driver was charged Jan. 12 with involuntary manslaughter.
It’s well-known that street racing is dangerous, which is why it’s also illegal in many states. The federal Department of Transportation doesn’t keep Missouri car wreck statistics for street racing in particular, but it does keep national statistics on speeding-related crashes. According to the department, speed caused or contributed to 31% of fatal accidents in 2007, at a cost of more than 13,000 lives nationally and 434 in Missouri. Speeding is a problem because it reduces the driver’s control over his or her vehicle — as was the case here — and makes it harder to react in time to hazards. And of course, higher speeds translate to greater force in a crash, raising the likelihood of a serious injury or a wrongful death.
Unfortunately, enforcement of criminal laws against street racing is spotty, in part because law enforcement cannot always charge racers unless they are caught in the act. Too often, it is only after a tragedy like this one that racers face criminal charges. If those charges seem like too little, too late for some victims, they also have the option of filing a civil claim — a Missouri car wreck lawsuit. A lawsuit cannot undo a terrible accident, of course, but it can help victims defray some of the more severe consequences of a crash, including high medical bills, loss of income and sometimes funeral costs. Just as importantly, it can also compensate victims for the pain and lost quality of life they suffered when they became permanently disabled or lost a loved one forever.
At the Lowe Law Firm, we’re proud to handle both injury-related car accident claims and wrongful death lawsuits. Based in St. Louis and in Belleville, Ill., we represent clients throughout Missouri and southern Illinois. If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious crash, we want to learn about your case and help you understand all of your legal options. And we offer free consultations, so there is no risk in speaking with us. To set up your free consultation today, please contact us through our Web site or call 1-877-678-3400, toll-free.