Colorado Driving School Instructor Wrecks Car, Plows Into School Building
Car accidents are unfortunately common across Colorado and throughout the country.
What you do not see so often is a person hired to teach new drivers how to operate their vehicles crashing his own car. Especially when he rams it into the building housing the school.
That is precisely what happened at a Lakewood driving school, where an early August crash made national headlines and got lots of attention on social media. Some Twitter users mused that the unnamed driving instructor “got an F,” while others suggested he was simply showing students what NOT to do.
Local cops struck a more serious tone.
“Thankfully there was only one minor injury,” the Lakewood Police Department said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Several people were able to dive out of harm’s way.”
The instructor was in his second day on the job at Community Driving School when he plowed his vehicle into the school’s Lakewood storefront, USA Today reports. The instructor was driving his personal vehicle, a Hyundai Tucson.
Photos of the crash show it shattered the school’s storefront glass and brick facade. The car eventually stopped below a large sign reading “Learn to Drive.”
Several driving students were in the vicinity of the crash, which happened at about 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. The students reportedly were gathering at the school for classroom instruction.
The instructor was ticketed for a traffic violation, according to Lakewood Police. He is no longer employed at the school, Community Driving owner Steve Rohman told Denver7.
“The business owner emphasized that the safety of students and instructors is ‘paramount,’” Robert Garrison reports for the local news outlet.
9News had a slightly different take on the accident.
“To the employee’s credit, the school’s sign above the front door says ‘Learn to Drive,’ and not ‘Learn to Park,’” reporter Erin Powell wrote for the local news outlet.
Car Accidents are More Common Than You Think
The incident, while ironic, highlights the fact that car crashes can and do happen every single day.
When collisions happen, they can come with serious and even life-threatening injuries for drivers and passengers, not to mention pedestrians, cyclists and others on the road.
Nearly 750 people were killed in collisions on Colorado roads last year. That is up nearly 8 percent from a year earlier and the highest total on record since 2002. It also represents a 57 percent increase over the last decade.
There has also been an uptick in fatal accidents involving pedestrians and motorcycle riders. Those collisions hit a peak not seen since 1975, according to Denver7.
More than one-third (36%) of people killed in traffic accidents last year were not inside a vehicle at the time of the crash.
The overall spike in traffic deaths has been largely attributed to negligent and intoxicated driving.
Law enforcement agencies are boosting patrols on the roadways and cracking down on reckless driving behavior. Officials are also increasing public education efforts, including campaigns to encourage people to wear their seatbelts and avoid distracted driving.
Police and safety officials are also seeing a dramatic rise in driver distraction and road rage. That is not to mention other factors that can contribute to a crash, including harsh weather, poor road conditions and defective vehicles.
Injured in a Colorado Car Accident? Know Your Rights
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. That often includes negligent drivers and their insurers, as well as others, depending on the circumstances.
Drivers owe others on the road a “duty of care” under Colorado law. They are required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means obeying traffic laws, maintaining appropriate speeds and taking steps to ensure that their vehicles are in good working order. It also means steering clear of risky behavior, like drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel.
A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result.
The money damages typically available in Colorado car accident cases are intended to help put an injured person back in the financial position that he or she was in before the accident happened. The compensation typically includes money for doctors’ bills, missed wages during physical recuperation and any long-term impact on the injured person’s ability to make a living or participate in day-to-day life.
In the tragic event that a person is killed in a traffic accident, state law also gives certain family members the right to seek compensation for wrongful death. The spouse, children and parents of a person who dies in a Colorado crash can pursue a wrongful death claim. If a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.
It goes without saying that there is no amount of money that will allow you to go back in time and stop the crash from happening. Compensation can, however, help ease the financial burden that often comes with a crash.
The immediate aftermath of an accident can be a painful, emotional and confusing time. Insurers, sadly, often use this time to push lowball settlements, offering pennies on the dollar to resolve accident claims.
Fortunately, you do not need to go it alone. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, identify those responsible for the crash and maximize your compensation.
Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a road rage or other crash in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you take action. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.
We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.