Drivers injured in wrong-way crash near St. Louis airport

We have all made mistakes. But few of us make mistakes that lead to head-on automobile collisions and injuries.

But that is what happened a few days ago on Interstate 170 near St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Both drivers were injured in the head-on collision involving a Ford Fusion going south in the interstate’s northbound lanes, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.

The crash was at about 3:45 a.m., officials said, when the wrong-way Fusion slammed head-on into a Jeep Cherokee. The Fusion driver is a 26-year-old man who lives in the St. Louis area. He was hospitalized with serious injuries. The 25-year-old Florissant woman was hospitalized with injuries described as moderate, a news report stated.

We do not yet know why the Fusion driver was going the wrong way, but we do know what studies of wrong-way driving have shown.

The Federal Highway Administration says, “a substantial percentage of wrong way drivers are impaired by alcohol.” And these are typically violent events, the agency says, which are “much more likely to result in fatalities or severe injuries than other highway crash types.”

Age is also a factor in wrong-way wrecks, with overrepresentation of two groups: older drivers (especially those over 70) and younger drivers (under 25).

The Federal Highway Administration also says the majority of wrong-way fatal crashes “occur at night, when visibility of roadway attributes and signs are diminished.” Also, the agency says a disproportionate percentage occur on weekends, which is likely related to the high percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers responsible for the wrong-way wrecks.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a wrong-way driver or otherwise reckless motorist, contact a St. Louis personal injury attorney.