A tragic series of car accidents in Vermont has left five teenagers dead and numerous others hurt after one driver took his vehicle the wrong way on a divided highway. After colliding with the teens, the driver stole a police cruiser and caused numerous other car accidents before one of the car collisions ejected him from the cruiser and police were able to apprehend him.
Wrong-Way Driver Collides With Car of Teenagers
The horrific scene happened late on the night of Saturday, October 8, 2016, in the small Vermont town of Williston. A Volkswagen Jetta was driving southbound on Interstate 89, just east of Burlington, Vermont. Inside the Jetta were five high school juniors: Eli Brookens, Liam Hale, Janie Cozzi, Mary Harris, and Cyrus Zschau. Four of them attended Harwood Union High School, in nearby Moretown, Vermont.
Responding to a report of a northbound vehicle on the highway’s southbound lanes, police officers stumbled on a terrible two car crash. The Jetta carrying the teenagers was engulfed in flames. While officers at the scene scrambled to pull one of the young girls from the wreckage and put out the flames, the person who allegedly caused the crash, 36-year-old Steven Bourgoin, hopped into the police cruiser and sped away.
Officers sped off in pursuit of the fleeing Bourgoin, who pulled a U-turn to speed the wrong way on the interstate, once again. He collided with no fewer than seven vehicles while driving the stolen cruiser on the wrong side of the road, only coming to a stop when he was ejected from the vehicle after one of the crashes.
All five of the teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. They were all either fifteen or sixteen years old. Numerous occupants of the additional seven vehicles struck by the stolen police cruiser were hurt, but none of their injuries appear to be life-threatening.
Young Fatalities Especially Painful
As is always the case, it is especially painful when the fatalities in a car crash are young adults that did not cause the accident. Luckily, our legal system recognizes that these situations are significantly worse than other fatal crashes, and allows for legal maneuvers that make sure the families of those who have passed away receive the compensation that they need to cope with the loss of their loved ones. These wrongful death lawsuits allow the families of those who have died to stand in their shoes in a court of law, seeking damages for the deceased’s injuries and the suffering of their families.
Cobb County Car Accident Attorney Joel Williams
Wrongful death lawsuits are never something that you want to think about. They are remedies that attempt to fix what will always be broken. However, they are the closest that the law can come to replacing the life of those who have lost it.
If someone you love has lost their life in a car accident, contact Williams Elleby to explore your legal options and get the compensation that you need to cope with your loss.