When returning from local wineries and while making a U-turn on Route 48 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue, a limousine was struck by a pickup truck driven by an allegedly drunk driver. According to The Suffolk Times, the driver was speeding, and his truck t-boned the limousine on Saturday, July 18, shortly after 5:00 p.m. All of the girls riding in the limousine were between the ages of 23 and 25. One of the girls was getting married, and they went on an outing to local wineries to celebrate. Ironically, they were careful to rent a limousine, so they would be safe and not need a designated driver. However, three women died at the scene and one died later at the hospital. Two helicopters came to the accident scene and police closed off the area for several hours after the accident.
The limousine driver attempted to make a U-turn in a spot that neighborhood residents had long considered to be dangerous. According to a Newsday article, residents worried about this location because of vineyard-bound limousines making U-turns when there was oncoming traffic.
Police officers arrested the truck driver and charged him with DWI. The case is under investigation.
The bride-to-be was one of the four women who survived the crash, but the women who died were tragically all between the ages of 23 and 24 — all with bright futures ahead of them.
From a legal perspective, multiple parties may be at fault for causing or contributing to the accident. Clearly, if actually drunk and convicted of DWI, the truck driver would be at fault. However, if the limo driver was making an illegal or unsafe U-turn, negligence may be a factor, in which case the driver and limo company could be liable. Another possible factor is whether limousines meet tough enough safety standards to protect passengers against this type of accident, in which case liability would lie with the manufacturer. If the county was negligent about taking actions to make this road intersection safer, then the county government may be liable.
If you suffered injury in a serious accident or lost a loved one, seek legal help as soon as possible. Through a free consultation, our attorneys can discuss and evaluate your case. Unless we recover through settlement or verdict, you owe no fees.