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Pedestrians injured, killed by vehicle leaving car wash

Pedestrians in cities know all too well that cars are a constant hazard and they know to be cautious around any moving vehicles.

Unfortunately, no one could have been prepared for the recent events at a car wash in Brooklyn.

Witnesses say they simply can't account for the accident. The car wash's employee was in the process of driving a clean Jeep forward where it could be dried when he suddenly reversed gears and hit the building. Then, just as suddenly, the car barreled forward and struck two pedestrians -- an elderly husband and wife. To witnesses, it seemed like the driver panicked and just kept changing course after the first incident without any clear thought or direction.

For whatever reason, the driver of the car backed up and then drove forward into the female pedestrian once more. Another witness claimed the driver actually struck the woman three or more times, using so much force that her legs were amputated by the crash. She passed away at the site. Her husband was pinned beneath one of the car's wheels and suffered life-threatening wounds.

Authorities say that there was another accident with a pedestrian at the same car wash earlier in the week, and local observers say that the driving of the employees there has long been an issue. They claim that drivers frequently whip the cars out of the building at a high speed, recklessly endangering anybody who might be around with their actions.

While it's still early to speculate, a catastrophic car accident like this often results in wrongful death claims. It's likely to be a complicated case. The driver is certainly responsible, but so is the driver's employer since employers bear liability for their employee's actions on the job. The owner of the vehicle might also be liable through negligent entrustment rules -- if there was any warning that the driver shouldn't be behind the wheel. Or, the owner's insurance may simply bear responsibility under the general rules of coverage.

Regardless of what happens, incidents like this remind people that they can never be too careful when they're on foot around any kind of moving vehicles. Unexpected tragedies can -- and often do -- happen.

Source: New York Daily News, "Woman Killed In Freak Brooklyn Car Wash Crash," Andy Mai, Todd Maisel and Thomas Tracy, May 01, 2018

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