A power outage that occurred Sunday night in West Palm Beach may have played a central role in a fatal car crash at the intersection of Okeechobee and Military Trail. The power outage, which affected several blocks in the area, may have caused the traffic signal that controls the busy intersection to malfunction. At the time of the accident, the traffic light did not show any signals.
The car accident involved a Chevy Malibu driven by a 60-year-old and a Nissan Maxima. Both vehicles approached the light at nearly the same time and collided in the intersection. After impact, the Malibu continued through the intersection and struck a utility pole. The driver of the Malibu was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. His passenger and all three occupants of the Nissan were also taken to nearby hospitals with serious injuries.
Florida Power and Light confirmed that there was a power outage on Sunday night due to the weather, but also noted that traffic signals in the area should not have been affected. It is unclear at this time if Palm Beach authorities knew that the signal was malfunctioning at the time of the accident. According to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, drivers should treat a malfunctioning or dark traffic signals at an intersection as a four-way stop. In this instance, neither vehicle stopped or yielded the right of way.
Sadly, the outcome of Sunday’s night accident was devastating for all parties involved. One family is mourning a loss of a loved one and several others are affected as they provide support for those that are severely injured. This short lapse in judgment by two drivers, paired with a traffic signal that should have been functioning but was not, ultimately caused the loss of a life.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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