Wednesday night two students of Hazelwood Central were killed when their vehicle struck the base of a traffic light near the Jamestown Mall on North Lindbergh Boulevard. The fiery crash has left the victims unidentified, however, sources say the victims were 15 year old Dwayne Williams and 17 year Dujuan Macon.
Reports state that the teens were returning from a friends birthday party when the crash occurred. Friends and family have constructed a makeshift memorial at the tragic scene, with over 200 people gathering nearby to mourn the loss of the the young men Thursday night. It is reported that the driver of the car lost control of the vehicle and struck the traffic light. The Blackjack fire department put out the blaze and are continuing to deal with the aftermath.
Friends and family report that the teens were well liked with promising futures. Both of the young men were sophomores at Hazelwood Central who will be missed dearly. Hazelwood School District has issued a statement offering their condolences to the families affected by this tragedy.
The exact reason for the loss of control is not yet known. St. Louis County Police Department Crimes Against Persons Unit and Accident Reconstruction Teams continue to investigate the exact cause of the crash. The victims were riding in a Camaro heading east near the intersection of Lindbergh and Mill Road at approximately 10:15 p.m., when the crash occurred.
St. Louis Police Procedure After a Wrongful Death Accident
After a wrongful death accident in Missouri, accident reconstruction teams perform an extremely detailed investigation into how the crash occurred. However, the investigation can leave families confused and waiting for extended periods of time before they are able to view the results of the investigation. Families should be prepared to wait up to 30 days before they are able to obtain a copy of the full crash reconstruction report.
Following a normal non-lethal crash, the police will create a basic 2-5 page police report. This report will contain basic information about the crash, such as insurance information, weather conditions, types of vehicles involved, location, probable fault of the parties, etc. However, in a deadly crash, the accident reconstruction team will create a much more detailed report with estimated speeds, distances, numerous photos, and other information helpful in painting a much clearer picture of how the crash occurred. These reports can range upwards of 50 pages or more and they commonly take in excess of 30 days to prepare.
Unfortunately for the families of those killed, they are forced to wait in agony. While they wait, automobile insurance companies will likely be calling and offering to pay burial expenses in exchange for waiver of further liability. However, the families of those wrongfully killed should be extremely careful to not sign anything without speaking to an injury attorney first. Insurance companies will try to trick families into waiving a wrongful death claim in exchange for a token amount to help with burial expenses. Be on the lookout for this tactic and make sure you do not forgo your legal rights while in state of extreme shock. Missouri law allows for the reimbursement of many aspects of a loss of this nature, not simply burial expenses.
Our prayers go out to the friends and families suffering from this horrific crash.