This is a case of a vehicular accident which has resulted in spinal chordfatality. According to a source, the accident happened on October 30, 2004. At approximately noon of that unfortunate day, Mr. Clayton Sprague, a driver employed by C&J Energy Savers was driving along Jerusalem Ave. He was on his way to deliver goods to one of C&J’s customers. Mr. Sprague was driving a 1987 Ford Diesel tanker. According to investigation, the tanker had a approximate load capacity of 33,000 pounds when fully loaded. My. Sprague’s load at that time was only 2,740 pounds which was within the allowable weight of the tanker. It was also found out during the investigation that Mr. Sprague was driving well within the speed limit because he did not have a deadline or specific delivery time. It was also noted that during his travel along Jerusalem Ave., he stayed on the right lane the entire time.
Still according to reports that reached the police, as Sprague was approaching the red light at the intersection, he slowed down and he had no problems with his breaks. He proceeded with caution until he passed by A. Holly Nursing Home when he noticed two cars travelling along side each other on the east bound lanes of Jerusalem Ave. He did not notice either car signalling to make either a right or left turn. He also did not notice that either car had its headlights on which may indicate a problem. He noticed later on that Maurice Minor’s (the victim) car continued in the left lane but getting dangerously close to the tanker. When Minor’s car was only about 10 feet away from the tanker, it suddenly shifted lanes and went directly westbound in front of the tanker.
Based on the findings of a lawyer who practices in Nassau and Suffolk, Sprague immediately applied his breaks but because of the proximity of Minor’s car to the tanker, there was nothing much Sprague could’ve done. The tanker hit the Minor’s car sending it about 40 to 50 feet away. It was very fortunate that it both Minor’s car and the tanker did not hit anything else in the process.
When Sprague realize what happened he immediately ran out to check on Minor’s condition. It was very obvious at this point that there was steam coming out of Minor’s car. Sprague went to the driver’s seat and although the car window was open, he along with a man from a nearby fruit Stand who also tried to help couldn’t open the door. There was also gas leaking from Minor’s car because of the impact. As both men where trying to open Minor’s car door, someone shouted to get away from the car because it was about to catch fire. In no time at all it did.
Based on the evidences presented by both sides, it was later found out by a reporter that Sprague had sufficient proof that he was operating his vehicle responsibly and that based on further investigation by automobile accident reconstruction and investigation detectives. They also established that Sprague passed the intoxication test which is a standard procedure in accidents with fatality from spinal injuries. It was also established by the detectives that because of the speed Minor was going and the wet road, Minor was unable to control her driving.
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