Route 8 wrong way driver faces serious charges

February 12, 2013 by The Farber Law Group

head on car accident lawyerImagine driving down the highway at nighttime and then seeing the headlights of an oncoming car coming right at you. I can hardly imagine a scarier scenario. But that's what happened on Monday night around 8:30pm when a suspected drunk driver drove east in the westbound lanes of Route 8.

The Washington State Patrol says that Mark A. McKern, 31, of Shelton, drove his Hyundai Sonata the wrong-way on Route 8 before sideswiping a car driven by Penny B. Ramstein, of Elma, and then colliding head-on with a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle driven by 21-year-old Karli A. Stillwell, also of Elma.

McKern was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His 8-month-old daughter, who was riding in the car at the time of the accident, was taken to the hospital for an evaluation and then was released to her mother. Luckily, the baby was not injured in the accident.

Both Ramstein and Stillwell were injured and taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

McKern faces serious charges after he recovers. He is likely to be charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. He also faces charges of Vehicular Assault. Vehicular Assault, Washington State Vehicle Code RCW 46.61.522, can be charged of a person was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving recklessly or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Wrong Way Accidents

Car accidents caused by wrong way drivers are more common than most people could imagine. There is hardly a week go by across the United States that a person is not seriously injured or killed due to a wrong way driver. In fact, 3 of all motor vehicle accidents and 5% of accidents resulting in fatalities were caused by wrong way drivers. Often these accidents result in catastrophic injuries including spinal cord injuries and death to the wrong way driver or the cars he or she hits.

Common characteristics of wrong way driving accidents:

  • Most wrong way accidents occur after dark.
  • Most wrong way drivers are impaired by alcohol or drugs or both.
  • To a lesser extent, a wrong way driver can be an elderly driver who is confused.
  • They occur on roadways where the entrance and exit designs are confusing.

A lot of wrong way accidents result in fatalities. In August, a 8-year-old Seattle boy was killed while in Montana for a family trip to Yellowstone National Park for a vacation when their car was hit by a wrong way driver.

And in an accident that was very bizarre, a year ago last January, a 60-year-old woman drove her car 17 miles in the wrong direction on Interstate 5 at high speeds without her headlights on when she was faintly stopped when police used spike strips. Miraculously, no one was injured or killed in that "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."

Bellevue Law Firm Represents Car Accident Victims

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed, due to a drunk driver, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group, a legal firm specializing in injury accidents is here to help you. We have more than 30 years representing accident victims and their families.

We provide a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation. Call us at 1-800-244-9087 or use our Contact Form.

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Elderly wrong-way driver injured in I-5 car accident near Tumwater