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Vehicle Fatalities

You Just Witnessed a Car Wreck: Here’s How to Handle It

By Grant J. Rogers, Associate Attorney


In Texoma, citizens look out for one another. Whether it’s a crisis related to criminal activity, inclement weather, or even a family burdened with unexpected medical bills—our community comes together.

If you’re crossing the Red River on I-44, or perhaps traveling down Kemp Blvd. in Wichita Falls, and you witness a car wreck, do you know the best way of handling the situation to be most helpful for those involved?

If you happen to witness such a crash, Altman Legal Group wants you to be prepared and informed. Below are some key dos and don’ts to keep in mind.


DO: Dial 911

As soon as you can safely do so, call 911. As accurately as possible, describe the location, the wreck scene, and any other details that might be helpful to first responders (such as if you see smoke or some other imminent danger.)

DON’T: Just Keep Driving or Assume Others Will Stop

If you saw what happened you are needed at the scene, even if you’ve called 911 and the wreck did not appear to do significant damage to the vehicles.

Be sure to pull your car off the roadway so you are not blocking traffic. Stopping your car in a lane of traffic places you in danger and risks blocking emergency vehicles from entering the scene.

Of course, stopping is most important because the severity of damage to the cars is not always an accurate indicator of if there are injuries. Never assume everyone is fine. There is no way of knowing the physical condition of the occupants without pulling over to check on them.

Secondly, beyond the health and safety concerns, eyewitnesses are a critical piece of the puzzle for investigating officers and for insurance purposes. If the two motorists involved in a crash disagree on facts such as what color the light was, or who had the right of way, an eyewitness can save victims from being unfairly burdened with thousands of dollars in property damage and medical bills.

DO: Stay Calm and Know the Law

You did the right thing in stopping to check on the occupants. But what should you do next?

If the victim is unconscious, do not move them unless you observe immediate danger requiring it. It is best to wait for medical professionals to move a victim so you don’t risk causing unintentional further harm.

If the victim is conscious, ask if they need assistance and go from there. Use your best judgment under the circumstances. Many of our injured car wreck clients have shared stories about calm, encouraging witnesses waiting with them for first responders to arrive; it meant to world to them in that moment.

Road & Travel Magazine shares more specific tips for when you’re the first on the scene of a crash. It similarly recommends doing things as simple as holding a victim’s hand while waiting on an ambulance.

Don’t be scared of the legal consequences of rendering aid. If it’s clear something needs to be done quickly, before first responders arrive, do it. While the wording varies by state, all 50 states have some type of Good Samaritan Law (such as Texas’ Good Samaritan Act) in place to protect you in these situations. Here in Texas, the law states, in part:

“A person who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is wilfully or wantonly negligent…”

In other words, you can render aid in an emergency situation without fear of getting sued for it later, so long as you handle the situation reasonably, and don’t do anything blatantly negligent. (Exceptions to this general rule and more specifics can be found at the above link, with a focus on Subchapter D. Emergency Care)


Now you’re prepared for if you witness a wreck. Be sure to also read our blog post here, urging drivers to review their own auto coverage to be sure it’s sufficient for every possible situation.

And of course, if you or a loved one ever becomes the victim in such a devastating wreck, please contact our office immediately for a free consultation to explore your options.

Representing Victims And Families
since 1982

Our attorneys are happy to accommodate difficult schedules. We can meet you in the early morning or late afternoon hours.

We can even schedule appointments on the weekends. We are also available to meet you at home or in the hospital if you do not have transportation, or if your injury doesn’t allow you to travel.

What We Offer Clients And Their Loved Ones:

Initial consultations on personal injury cases are always free.
You do not pay us unless we win your case on personal injury cases.
We`re available to answer your legal questions.
We can be an advocate for your loved ones.
Help provide families with resources and advice.
Resolve automobile property damage claims.
Help you find a doctor, even if you don`t have insurance.
We can deal with the insurance companies.

Free Consultation

Over 40 Years of Experience

Contact Form

Rider High Student Killed in Crash

On Monday morning, a Rider High School student was killed in a crash on State Highway 199. According to KFDX News Channel Three, the incident happened about five miles east of Jacksboro. Sarai Perkins, 16-years-old, was killed in the rollover crash, and four other people were transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries. For currently unknown reasons, it is believed that the vehicle was over corrected, which caused it to roll.

Fatal Rollover Crash Near Jacksboro

Although very few details about the crash have been released, Texas Department of Public Safety officials didn’t think Perkins was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. There’s currently no word on how or why the teen lost control of the car and overcorrected it or any other circumstances involving the rollover crash. Additionally, no information has been released about the extent of injuries involved or the current conditions of the other passengers involved. This crash is likely still under investigation with local law enforcement officials.

Car Accidents Involving Teens

This tragic crash serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers teens face behind the wheel in Texoma and across the country, each day. Sadly, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens between the ages of 14 and 18 years old in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly half of all teen drivers involved in crashes die. They also report that teens buckle up much less frequently than adults. The NHTSA has developed a “5 to Drive” campaign aimed at raising awareness about the five biggest safety issues facing teen drivers.

“5 to Drive” For Teen Safety

  1. No cell phone use or texting while driving,
  2. No extra passengers,
  3. No speeding,
  4. No alcohol, and
  5. No driving or riding without a seat belt.

In 2011, 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes across the country. Of those teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, only 55 percent survived. The NHTSA is encouraging parents to talk to their teen drivers about the “5 to Drive” rules, and remember to always set a good example for young inexperienced drivers.

The whole team at the Altman Legal Group sends their thoughts and prayers to the family members, friends and classmates of Sarai Perkins and wishes full and swift recoveries for the other passengers who were injured in this crash.

Representing Victims And Families
since 1982

Our attorneys are happy to accommodate difficult schedules. We can meet you in the early morning or late afternoon hours.

We can even schedule appointments on the weekends. We are also available to meet you at home or in the hospital if you do not have transportation, or if your injury doesn’t allow you to travel.

What We Offer Clients And Their Loved Ones:

Initial consultations on personal injury cases are always free.
You do not pay us unless we win your case on personal injury cases.
We`re available to answer your legal questions.
We can be an advocate for your loved ones.
Help provide families with resources and advice.
Resolve automobile property damage claims.
Help you find a doctor, even if you don`t have insurance.
We can deal with the insurance companies.

Free Consultation

Over 40 Years of Experience

Contact Form

Child Killed in ATV Crash

Last week, a 10-year-old boy was killed in an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) crash at the Rednecks With Paychecks celebration near Saint Jo. According to KFDX News Channel Three, the child, Nicholas Torres of Fort Worth, was riding between two trailers when the four-wheeler he was on collided with a pickup truck. Although very few details about the crash have been released, we do know that he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck.

10-Year-Old Fatally Injured in Four-Wheeler Crash

Although Torres was rushed to the hospital, he died as a result of his injuries. KFDX News Channel Three also reports that the four-day Rednecks With Paychecks event had about 10,000 participants this year.

ATV Crash Statistics

  • Between 1982 and 2012, there were 12,391 ATV-related deaths.
  • Nearly a quarter of those victims were under the age of 16.
  • 353 of those deaths occurred in 2012.
  • In 2012, an estimated 107,900 people were injured in ATV crashes.
  • An estimated 26,500 of those injuries happened to children under the age of 16.

All-Terrain-Vehicle Safety

As the weather gets nicer, more and more people will be out on ATV’s, four-wheelers, dune buggies, dirt bikes and other recreational vehicles. It’s important to remember that while these off-road vehicles are fun, they’re not without risk. Safety for drivers and riders depends upon correct operation of the vehicles and the use of safety equipment, like helmets, boots and gloves.

Injured on Somebody Else’s ATV

Many of the injuries and deaths that occur on ATV’s and other recreational vehicles happen on somebody else’s recreational vehicle. Riding a friend’s ATV isn’t always a good choice, especially if you don’t have experience or any training. Also, your friend may not provide appropriate safety gear like well-fitted helmets, boots or gloves. Underestimating risk or not being properly taught to operate the vehicle can also both contribute as potential factors involved in some ATV crashes.

Safety First

With good weather on the way, more and more people will be taking to their ATV’s and other off-road recreational vehicles. It’s absolutely essential that safety come first. Always wear a well-fitting safety certified helmet and safe footwear and clothing. In the event of a wreck, you’ll have a much better chance at avoiding injury.

The whole team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest heartfelt condolences to the family members, friends and loved ones of Nicholas Torres.

Representing Victims And Families
since 1982

Our attorneys are happy to accommodate difficult schedules. We can meet you in the early morning or late afternoon hours.

We can even schedule appointments on the weekends. We are also available to meet you at home or in the hospital if you do not have transportation, or if your injury doesn’t allow you to travel.

What We Offer Clients And Their Loved Ones:

Initial consultations on personal injury cases are always free.
You do not pay us unless we win your case on personal injury cases.
We`re available to answer your legal questions.
We can be an advocate for your loved ones.
Help provide families with resources and advice.
Resolve automobile property damage claims.
Help you find a doctor, even if you don`t have insurance.
We can deal with the insurance companies.

Free Consultation

Over 40 Years of Experience

Contact Form

Fatal Crash in Duncan

Last week, a crash in Duncan, Oklahoma took the life of a man from Lawton. According to KSWO ABC Channel Seven News, the incident happened at the intersection of Fifth Street and Camelback road, on Tuesday. Apparently, a driver, Gregory Barbour, was stopped at a stop sign on Camelback Road, when his automobile was rear ended by another vehicle. The driver of the other car, Raymond Towel, was rushed to Duncan Regional Hospital and then airlifted to a hospital in Oklahoma City.

One Killed and One Injured in Duncan Crash

Barbour was killed in the crash, and there’s no word on the condition or the extent of injuries of the other driver. This crash is likely still under investigation with authorities, as very little information has been released. KSWO ABC Channel Seven News did report that alcohol wasn’t immediately suspected as a factor, but there’s still no word on why Gregory Barbour’s car was rear ended at the intersection.

Fatal Crashes in Texoma

In August, we reported on another fatal Oklahoma crash that took the life of a five-year-old child. That one-vehicle wreck involved a pickup truck that left the roadway and struck an electrical pole. Just a week before that fatal wreck, three people died in a multi-car crash on Highway 82, in Archer County, Texas.

U.S. Fatal Crash Statistics

  • In 2012, 33,561 people died in car crashes across the United States.
  • In 2011, 32,479 people died in crashes across the U.S.
  • An estimated 2.36 million people were injured in crashes in 2012.
  • In 2012, 10,322 people were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • In Texas, 3,398 people lost their lives in car crashes in 2012.
  • An alarming 38 percent of those fatalities (1,296) occurred in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.
  • In 2011, Texas had 3,054 car crash fatalities

After a Fatal Crash

If you have lost a loved one in an automobile crash due to somebody else’s negligent, reckless or willful behavior, you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

Surviving loved ones are often facing medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, a loss of companionship and love and the pain that goes along with losing a loved one. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Gregory Barbour.

Representing Victims And Families
since 1982

Our attorneys are happy to accommodate difficult schedules. We can meet you in the early morning or late afternoon hours.

We can even schedule appointments on the weekends. We are also available to meet you at home or in the hospital if you do not have transportation, or if your injury doesn’t allow you to travel.

What We Offer Clients And Their Loved Ones:

Initial consultations on personal injury cases are always free.
You do not pay us unless we win your case on personal injury cases.
We`re available to answer your legal questions.
We can be an advocate for your loved ones.
Help provide families with resources and advice.
Resolve automobile property damage claims.
Help you find a doctor, even if you don`t have insurance.
We can deal with the insurance companies.

Free Consultation

Over 40 Years of Experience

Contact Form