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Drugs, alcohol may be behind Billings accident

An unusually violent intersection collision in Billings recently may have been caused by an impaired driver. The force of the collision was enough to flip one of the vehicles on its roof. Fortunately, the injured victim is expected to survive.

According to police, the car accident happened when a young man in a Honda passenger car ran a stop sign at the intersection of Clark Avenue and 15th Street West. He crashed into the back of an electrician's van. The van flipped over.

The man who was driving the Honda attempted to flee the accident scene on foot. This is never a good idea. Some alert citizens stopped him about a block away and held him until police officers came. Police believe he was driving while impaired by either drugs or alcohol. The driver of the van was taken to a local medical clinic for treatment of his injuries.

The young man who caused the accident will face serious criminal charges if testing shows he was in fact driving while impaired. The charges will likely include a felony offense of causing an injury accident while under the influence, as well as a charge of fleeing the scene of an injury accident.

If the driver of the electrician's van was an employee of a business and was on the job - which would include driving to or from a job - at the time of the accident, his first legal recourse will be to recover workers' compensation benefits. Those benefits will cover his medical expenses and some loss of income. But since a non-employer third party - the driver of the Honda - was at fault in the accident, he will also have the right to recover additional damages from that driver or his insurance company. The additional damages will include items like pain and suffering, which are not covered by workers' compensation.

Source:, "Car Accident Flips Van," June 5, 2013

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