Many Massachusetts readers will recall a horrific accident that took place last fall in Longmeadow. The car crash ended the life of a teenage boy and was the result of couch cushions entering the roadway from another vehicle. The incident led to increased public awareness of the responsibilities that drivers have to ensure that their cargo is sufficiently secured before taking to the roads. In a recent court appearance, two men were arraigned for their roles in the deadly crash.
The incident took place in the northbound lanes of I-91. Police believe that it was nearly 6:00 p.m. when the 17-year-old driver of a Jeep spotted the couch cushions in the road. He swerved to try to avoid striking the cushions, which led him to crash into a tractor-trailer. His vehicle caught fire, and when emergency medical personnel arrived, he was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
The two men whom police say were in the vehicle that lost the cushions were recently charged with involuntary manslaughter. Additionally, one man was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. As this case moves forward, many will watch to see how the court treats not only the driver of the vehicle, but also the passenger who was present. It appears that he may also be held accountable for failure to ensure that the furniture pieces were properly secured for transport.
For the family of the Massachusetts teen who lost his life in this car crash, the recent hearing may bring the beginning of a sense of justice in the matter. However, nothing can take the place of a lost loved one, especially when that loss might have easily been avoided. Should they decide to move forward with civil litigation in the matter, the evidence brought forth by the criminal proceedings could be put to use in a wrongful death action.
Source: wggb.com, "Two Springfield Men Arraigned on Fatal Crash Involving Couch Cushions", , July 9, 2014