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Turkey in Road Sends 4 To Hospital

Published April 26, 2013 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney
A turkey

Car crashes in New York sometimes happen when animals – typically dogs or deer – dart onto the road and into a driver’s path.

But recently in Ulster County, it was a turkey that caused a four-car pileup and sent four people to the hospital.

The incident occurred in Wawarsing, when a 71-year-old motorist stopped to grant passage to the gobbler and was rear-ended by a minivan. This triggered a chain of collisions.

The following is from a news report:

The sheriff’s office tells the newspaper that [the driver] had stopped her Toyota to allow a turkey to cross when she was struck from behind by a minivan.

[Her] car was pushed into the opposite lane of traffic and hit a Ford. Authorities say [her] car then spun around and hit a Volkswagen. The driver of the Ford was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center to be treated for head injuries. Four other people were hospitalized.

Animals in the road are a common contributing factor in automobile accidents in New York. It can be difficult to determine whether a driver who hits an animal – or who brakes suddenly or swerves to avoid an animal, causing a collision with another vehicle – is legally responsible for any damages that result.

Liability may depend on the answers to the following questions:

  • Was the driver exercising due care?
  • Was the driver speeding?
  • Was the driver sleepy, distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • Could the collision have been avoided if the driver was paying closer attention?
  • Were there warning signs of animals on the road?
  • Was the area known for having wildlife on the road?

Motorists who are in a collision involving an animal in the road are advised to consult an experienced New York car accident attorney to protect their legal rights.


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