A 13-year-old’s life was cut short after the van she was driving crashed head-on with a semi-truck in Clark County, OH.
It was June 8, 2018, around 8:00 p.m. when Sky Lhamon, 13, got behind the wheel of her foster mother’s van and drove to Clark County alone. She had been driving northbound on Route 235 near Route 41 when she crossed over the center line and then hit a semi-truck head-on. A witness called 911 immediately after the accident occurred, providing the dispatcher with the details pertaining to the crash.
After emergency medics arrived, they determined that Lhamon had been wearing her seat belt but died at the scene from her injuries. The truck driver sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. He told officials that he tried to avoid the collision but was unsuccessful. Springfield News-Sun reported that the truck dragged the van between 50 to 100 feet before the two vehicles stopped. Photos from the accident scene show the mangled van and the damaged semi.
What could have prompted the teen to take her foster mother’s van?
Sky had been in the permanent custody of Shelby County Children Services after her parents lost permanent custody of her. However, she had been living with her foster mother for the past few months. The administrator for Children Services, David Jenkins, told the source that Lhamon had “experienced a lot of pain, grief, and loss in her 13 years,” but despite that, she had “a very outgoing personality, very engaging, made friends pretty quick.” Jenkins told ABC 6that no one knows where Sky was going or why she took the van.
The Shelby County Department of Job and Family Services did report that Lhamon’s foster mother had notified the agency that the teen had taken the mother’s van and left that evening. Children Services stated that because Sky was under the agency’s permanent custody, they would be taking care of the funeral for her.
Despite the fact that Lhamon was underage and not legally permitted to drive, the truth is, teen drivers are among the most common to be involved in auto accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2015, 2,333 teens in the U.S. ages 16-19 were killed and 235,845 were treated in emergency departments for the injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. The CDC also highlighted that “the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19-year-olds than among any other age group.”
Below we provide some other eye-opening facts regarding teen drivers:
- The crash risk is particularly high during the first months that a teen receives their license.
- The fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly twice as high for 16-17-year olds compared to 18-19-year olds.
- In 2016, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers between the ages of 16 and 19 was two times that of their female counterparts.
By teaching teens the proper way to drive and enforcing behavior that is neither risky or reckless can help prevent a teen from engaging in an accident. However, if your teen was injured in a crash in Ohio and you are uncertain whether you need to hire a lawyer, contact USAttorneys.com. We will connect you with an accident lawyer in Dayton, OH who can assess the details of your matter and determine if and how they can help you.