Earlier this month a woman from Port Republic, Maryland, was killed in a head-on collision on Broomes Island Road in Calvert County. The 46-year-old victim was driving northbound when a southbound 2009 Ford Edge driven by a 54-year-old St. Leonard woman crossed the center line and struck the victim's vehicle head-on. Two boys, ages 8 and 11, were in the victim's vehicle. They were injured but they survived.
An emergency room nurse who happened to be driving by stopped and rendered assistance to the injured parties until emergency personnel arrived. The Port Republic woman was taken by helicopter to Prince George's Hospital Center, but her injuries were too severe and she did not survive.
According to the Calvert County Sheriff's Office, the accident investigation so far has not revealed why the Ford crossed the center line. A spokesperson did say, however, that the driver of the Ford may have fallen asleep or blacked out, either due to fatigue or a medical condition.
Although authorities have not determined what happened in this case, driver fatigue is known to be a common cause of motor vehicle accidents. An overtired driver will have reduced reaction times and, in severe cases, is at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Even nodding off for a few seconds can be deadly.
When a loved one is killed in a car accident caused by another driver's negligence, Maryland law allows the next of kin to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members can recover damages for loss of companionship and loss of financial support.