Fasten Your Seat BeltsTerrell, TX- According to the National Safety Council, the risks of being in an accident is three times as high for motorists at night than during the day. Decreased visibility, drunken drivers and fatigue are all risks drivers face while driving at night.
Police believe fatigue was the cause of a Wednesday night accident in Louisiana that left five members of Texas family dead as they headed to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Michael and Trudie Hardman and their six children left their home in Terrell, Texas, around 8 p.m. Wednesday night for their “dream trip” to Disneyworld, according to ABC News. They were planning to spend Thanksgiving at the Magic Kingdom, but they never made it.
Just a few hours into their trip near Monroe, Louisiana, the family’s SUV ran off the road and rolled several times, ejecting five of the vehicle’s eight occupants.
Michael and Trudie Hardman and three of their six children were killed. Their 16 year-old son, who was driving and two other children survived the crash with moderate injuries.
Police told the Associated Press that the young driver fell asleep at the wheel. The SUV drifted onto the left median and the driver overcorrected causing the vehicle to rollover. Six of the SUV’s eight passengers were ejected.
Police told reporters that only the driver was wearing a seat belt. The young driver was cited for the accident.
Michael Hardman’s brother Timothy Hardman told the AP, the family had been planning the trip to Disney World for nine months. He said, “It was their dream trip.”
Our hearts go out to this family at during this difficult time.
“Crashes like this one don’t just affect the people involved. They affect family members, friends, Troopers, first responders and the community at large,” Col. Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police superintendent, said, according to the Times Picayune. He added, “I cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a seat belt every time you are in a vehicle.”
Sadly, this won’t be the only tragedy to mar Thanksgiving. The holidays tend to be a dangerous time on the road since there are many more people are traveling and more drunken drivers are on the roads. Fatigued or drowsy driving is also a danger especially since many motorist choose to drive at night.
According to Wall Street 24/7, there was an average of 436 fatal accidents on Thanksgiving based on accident data between 2007 and 2011.
If you have been injured or lost a loved because of a negligent driver, you have rights and can hold that driver accountable for their carelessness. Accident victims can seek compensation for their medical bills, property damage and loss of wages. But getting the amount they deserve requires the representation of a talented Texas accident attorney to build on the strength of your injury claim.
Before you accept a settlement or speak with anyone about your accident, aside from the police, you need to contact a Texas accident attorney to go over the details and decide the best way to proceed with your personal injury or wrongful death claim.

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