Sometimes, a minor car accident can lead to a much more serious incident. Shook-up but unhurt drivers and passengers can be helpless if a third motorist comes upon the scene and acts without due care for their safety.

In a tragic example, two California residents were killed on the interstate in a secondary car wreck. The two had been involved in a chain-reaction car accident on I-80 and gotten out of their vehicles to exchange insurance information. Though several vehicles had been caught in a series of rear-end collisions, nobody was hurt, and there was minimal damage to the vehicles.

Then another car came upon the scene. That car was moving in the left-hand lane, but the pile-up was ahead. Instead of stopping or changing lanes to avoid the vehicles, the driver swerved into the interstate’s center median, where the two victims were standing with several other drivers, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The car hit the victims with enough force to launch one of them into the other side of the highway, where several vehicles hit her. The other victim was slammed to the ground on the median. Both died at the scene. A number of others were also hit and received treatment for minor injuries.

How this crash might have happened

We don’t know why the driver that killed the two victims acted the way he did. Troopers do not think he was impaired by drugs or alcohol, though an article about this crash does not mention if he was speeding. By driving on the median, he was breaking traffic laws. More importantly, he clearly failed to notice that people were standing there until it was too late.