In what’s been described as a freak accident (but is probably anything but), a forty-six-year-old Brookhaven woman was seriously injured when an unattended military Humvee struck her as she worked at the Long Island Bacon Bash in Farmingville late last month. The woman was pinned by the Humvee when it crashed into a food trailer, seriously injuring an arm and a leg. Doctors had to amputate the lower part of her left arm and her condition is still serious.
A man working in the food truck hit by the Humvee received second-degree burns and was also hospitalized when he was splashed by cooking oil during the crash. He noted later that the crash could have been a lot worse, because the trailer (which was shoved about ten feet into another food truck by the impact) kept the Humvee from rolling into a crowd of fifty to sixty people.
Two other women were also struck by the runaway vehicle and suffered minor injuries, but refused medical treatment.
Inaugural Event Tarnished
The Bacon Bash is a new themed food festival, held for the first time this year at the Pennysaver Amphitheater. Several dozen local vendors attended, live music was on the schedule, and the event was planned to run until 10:00 p.m. on September 23 but was cut short after the late afternoon accident.
According to reports, the Humvee had been placed on display by the local US Army Reserve. Attendees at the festival said it had been a popular attraction throughout the day, with many small children clambering in and on the heavy vehicle—military Humvees weigh from 2.5 to more than 3.5 tons, depending on the specific configuration. But shortly after 5:00 p.m. something went wrong and the vehicle rolled down an incline, creating a gruesome scene.
Suffolk County Police and the US Army Reserve are both said to be investigating. Most accidents, unfortunately, don’t happen out of the blue. They happen because people are careless or reckless or negligent.
We won’t know exactly what happened in this case until the reports are completed and their conclusions announced, but it’s not difficult to speculate about what might have gone wrong. Brakes might not have been set correctly, or perhaps chock blocks were not used. Maybe there was a preventable mechanical failure caused by inadequate or incomplete maintenance of the vehicle. As hard as it might be to accept, it’s possible that someone who visited the Humvee was able to disengage the brakes, deliberately or unknowingly.
It’s a good thing when the Army Reserve participates in an event like this, but it might have been a very bad thing for them to allow the general public so much access to the vehicle. Whatever the cause, we hope the answers are soon discovered.
Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys
When someone is injured by the actions of another, the victim is usually entitled to seek compensation for his or her injuries from the parties who caused them. This can often be a complicated matter, which this case demonstrates.
Who is actually at fault? Proper safety precautions were not taken at some point. Does the burden fall on the Army Reserve, which brought and placed the vehicle? On the organizers of the festival, who were in charge? Could the Town of Brookhaven, which operates the facility, be at fault? Could responsibility fall on some or all of these entities to different degrees? Questions like these, and many others, need to be asked and answered in this kind of case.
That’s why it’s critically important to have an experienced Long Island personal injury lawyer on your team when you need to pursue a lawsuit after an injury. The attorneys at Siler & Ingber, LLP have that experience and are available to give you a free consultation to discuss your unique situation. Give us a call today at 1-877-718-6079 or contact us online through the form below to schedule an appointment.