Driver Killed in Wrong Way Crash
A driver going the wrong way down the street in a car chase died near West Palm Beach last week. Woody Jacques, 24, was being chased by police officers while driving a 2010 Dodge Challenger southbound in the northbound lanes of Jog Road near the Florida Turnpike. The accident took place around 1:45 p.m. on February 17.
According to police, Rui Rodrigues, 57, was driving his 2001 Toyota pickup truck north on Jog Road when he noticed the Challenger driven by Mr. Jacques come over the bridge heading towards him. Mr. Rodrigues tried to turn his truck out of the way of the oncoming car, but the left front of his truck hit the Challenger, causing Mr. Jacques to spin. The Challenger hit the curb of the median, a tree on the passenger’s side, and finally hit a second tree head-on in the median.
Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Mr. Jacques was pronounced dead at the scene, while Mr. Rodrigues was mostly unharmed. It was later discovered that the reason for Mr. Jacques reckless driving was that he was running from an undercover drug bust. The same day as the accident, Evens Estiverne was arrested by federal agents on drug charges for an investigation that began in 2013.
For the last two years, undercover agents have been purchasing Oxycodone pills from Mr. Estiverne, and on the day of the accident agents met him in a Home Depot parking lot to exchange 2,000 pills for $18,000. While Mr. Estiverne was making the deal, a second car registered to him drove into the parking lot to keep an eye on the transaction. That car was the Challenger driven by Mr. Jacques, and when he saw Mr. Estiverne arrested Mr. Jacques fled the scene.
Wrong Way Accidents
The National Transportation Safety Board released a report about wrong way driving accidents across the country. The report found that this type of accident only occurs in three percent of all traffic accidents, but they almost always result in serious injuries or death for victims involved. On average, around 260 wrong way accidents happen every year, and about 360 people lose their lives as a result.
When characterizing wrong way drivers, the Safety Board found that between half and 75% of all wrong way drivers are impaired with either drugs or alcohol. In addition, the primary origin of a wrong way driver is through an exit ramp, making a U-turn improperly, or making an emergency U-turn through a median. Wrong way collisions also happen more frequently at night, with 78% of fatal wrong way accidents happening between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Finally, a disproportionate amount of wrong way accidents happen on the weekend.
Call a Florida Accident Attorney Now
If you or someone that you know has been injured by a driver going the wrong way in the West Palm Beach area, let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your claims.