A Massachusetts doctor and a hospital secretary are dead following Monday’s tragic car accident involving a cancer patient who accidentaly drove her Oldsmobile into Brockton Hospital’s radiation center.
76-year-old Rockland resident Jane Berghold crashed her car through a glass door and into the center. She is a breast cancer patient at the center. Berghold was going to the hospital to give an X-ray Dr. Mark Vasa, to her radiation oncologist, who was Vasa was killed in the accident. Vasa was the chief radiation oncologist in charge of the center.
Susan Plante, a 60-year old hospital secretary who had worked at the hospital for two decades, died because of the catastrophic internal injuries she sustained in the crash. She had been taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Two other hospital employees working at the reception desk sustained injuries.
Robert Berghold, Jane Berghold’s husband, says that his wife has a solid driving record and was never involved in a major car accident before this one.
Statistically speaking, senior drivers over 75 years of age tend to be at higher risk of being involved in car accidents than their younger counterparts, by 37%–whether as accident victims or as the driver responsible for the motor vehicle accident. Poor vision at night, drowsiness from medication, confusion, impaired memory, and decreased motor skills can easily affect the driving skills of some elderly drivers.
In Massachusetts, about 7,500 seniors over 68 years of age either lose their license after failing a road or eye test or they let their license expire. That said, many drivers 60-70 years of age are also considered to be among the safest drivers. Some states have specific driving laws focusing on elderly drivers. Massachusetts does not have a special driving law for seniors.
If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the negligent party.
Speeding, talking on the cell phone or text messaging while driving, drunk driving, aggressive driving, reckless driving, or careless driving are also common causes of motor vehicle crashes-regardless of a person’s age. A defective motor vehicle part, such as faulty tires or defective breaks, or a defective motor vehicle can also result in car accidents where a passenger or bystander can get injured or killed. In these instances, the motor vehicle manufacturer could be held liable in a products liability lawsuit.
Second person dies after car crashes into Brockton Hospital, Boston.com, October 16, 2007
Second Death Confirmed In Hospital Car Crash, WCVB.com, October 16, 2007
How Old Is Too Old Behind The Wheel?, AP, July 17, 2003
Senior Citizen Drivers: Are They Menace? Should Licensing Laws Be Tougher?, Senior Journal, June 16, 2005
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In Brockton, Cambridge, and throughout Massachusetts, Altman & Altman LLP represents personal injury clients who have been hurt in accidents caused by other people’s negligent or careless actions. We also represent families who have lost loved ones in car accidents. We have helped many grieving families win their wrongful death lawsuits.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers, contact Altman & Altman LLP today.