Slate’s Law Blog

Two Fatalities After Car Drives Over Cliff at Navajo Lake Dam

They say that it takes two to tango, but it only takes one vehicle to crash. Single-vehicle accidents can cause at least as much damage to life, limb, and property as collisions that involve two or more vehicles. Excessive speed and alcohol are frequently among the contributing factors to single-vehicle accidents. Sometimes, a single-vehicle accident can occur when a driver on an empty road gets drowsy or distracted or loses control of the car. These types of accidents rarely happen in city traffic, where almost any mistake would cause you to collide with a nearby vehicle. Therefore, the damage is often worse. You can easily get into a fender bender with another car when driving at 20 miles per hour in stop-and-go traffic, but if there is no one but you on the road, and your car hits a tree, wall, median, or drainage pipe, the damage can be much more severe. Legal remedies are available to drivers and passengers injured in single-vehicle collisions. If you have suffered serious injuries in a single-vehicle collision, contact a Santa Fe car accident lawyer.

Car Flies Over Cliff on N.M. Highway 539

In June 2023, two people died in a single-vehicle accident on Navajo Lake. Rachel Kahwajy of Farmington was driving a 2003 Subaru on N.M. Highway 539, and Glenn Taketa was in the car’s passenger seat. As Kahwajy approached the intersection with N.M. Highway 511, where there was a tight curve, she lost control of the car, and it went over the cliff. First responders pronounced both occupants of the vehicle dead at the scene of the accident. Kahwajy was 31 years old, and Taketa was 53.

Your Rights After a Single Vehicle Accident

People who get injured in single-vehicle car accidents have the right to seek compensation for their medical expenses and other accident-related financial losses, either by filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident or by filing an insurance claim with that party’s insurance company. If you were a passenger in a car that collided with a stationary object, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. If the accident was caused by unsafe road conditions, such as an uneven road surface or the absence of a guardrail that could have prevented the accident or made it less severe, then you may have a claim against the city or county in charge of the road. If alcohol was a factor in the collision, then dram shop liability laws apply. This means that both the driver and the passengers can sue the bar that served alcohol to the driver before he or she got drunk and crashed the car.

Contact Slate Stern About Car Accident Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in car accidents. Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.


Photo by Justin Wolff on Unsplash