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Rear-end collision sends 4 to La Crosse hospital

Highway 44 near Spring Grove, just across the Wisconsin border, is a lovely two-lane road that winds through southern Minnesota. It has some right turn lanes, but someone making a left turn would need to stop in their lane before turning if there was oncoming traffic.

It was reported that a car with four people in it was stopped in traffic on Highway 44 when they were in a rear-end collision with a pickup truck. All four of those in the car were injured in the car accident, and were transported to Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse. One of the passengers, a 55-year-old woman from California, succumbed to her injuries and died at the hospital.

News sources reported that the car was driven by a 25-year-old woman from Decorah, Iowa. Two people from Decorah were the other two passengers in the car, and one was reportedly in critical condition in La Crosse.

The driver who rear-ended the car was a 79-year-old man also from Decorah. He was not injured in the car crash, and the reason he struck the other car was not reported.

According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, when people age they become more likely to be involved in car accidents including fatal accidents. The increase of risk is due to deteriorating reflexes, vision issues and in some cases cognitive issues.

Visibility should not have been an issue in this accident because it happened shortly before 6:00 in the evening.

For insurance purposes, whenever there is a rear-end collision, the rear vehicle that struck the other vehicle is at fault. In this case, the 79-year-old driver of the pickup truck could be held liable for the personal injury to the three people from Decorah and for the wrongful death of the woman from California.

Source: Post-Bulletin, "One killed, three injured in rear-end collision near Spring Grove," June 26, 2012

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