A two-vehicle accident just off the highway in Upper Deerfield Township resulted in catastrophic damage to a church.
The accident occurred just before 5:00 p.m. on December 11, 2016 and involved a tractor-trailer and a pickup truck. The tractor-trailer was being driven by a 44-year-old Bridgeton NJ man and approaching the intersection of Route 77 and Route 540 when it suddenly swerved off the roadway after nearly colliding with a truck that was also traveling on the highway.
The tractor-trailer went way off the main roadway and did not come to a stop until it crashed into the side of Wells of Salvation God the Father Church. The collision caused the walls and the roof of the church building to come tumbling down.
The truck, a Ford F-150, was driven by a 61-year-old Camden NJ resident and also had a Camden woman as a passenger. The Ford truck driver reportedly pulled over in the moments after the auto accident and waited for police to arrive at the scene.
Fortunately, no one was injured as a result of the truck accident.
Liability for Property Damage in NJ Car Accidents
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including Upper Deerfield police and the New Jersey State Police, conducted a detailed investigation into the tractor-trailer accident and determined that the Bridgeton motorist did not randomly lose control of his vehicle; rather, he reportedly swerved in order to avoid being cut off by the pickup truck. As a result, the driver of the pickup truck has been cited for multiple traffic violations, including careless driving, failure to stop or yield, and driving while suspended.
It is important to keep in mind that a motorist can be sued in civil court regardless of whether they were cited for traffic offenses or criminally charged. Additionally, although most auto accidents involve vehicle damage and/or physical injuries to drivers and passengers, some car crashes can result in property damage to buildings, signs, light fixtures, and other structures. When a car accident results in significant property damage, the negligent motorist can potentially be sued by the property owner for damages to cover the costs of repairs or replacement.
In this case, the owners and operators of the destroyed Upper Deerfield church may be able to file personal injury lawsuits against the driver of the Ford truck and the driver of the tractor-trailer. Beyond that, the drivers and/or their insurance companies could potentially be liable for large sums of money because the damage to the church was extensive and ultimately required a complete demolition of the building.
The demolition of the church has led to a delay in plans to re-open the local post office that sits next to the damaged building. When the tractor-trailer slammed into the side of the church, a wall collapsed into an alleyway that connects the building to the post office. The post office had to be temporarily shut down in the aftermath of the accident and is still without electrical service.
If you were injured, or your property was damaged, in an auto accident, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Brenner Spiller & Archer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation.