In a tragedy just a week before Thanksgiving, a 30-year-old was killed when a car crossed the center line of a road, striking her vehicle and killing her. To add insult to injury, the accident also severely injured the mothers 1-year-old son.
According to the
St. Louis Post Dispatch, 30-year-old Laura McClendon had not been wearing her seatbelt when a car driven by Kathryn Brady, 44, of Smithville, collided with her after Brady suffered a "sneeze attack".
According to the Post Dispatch story, the tragedy highlighted the fact that deadly traffic accidents apparently caused by sneezing, while unusual, are not unprecedented. It also served as a reminder of the importance of wearing seat belts, said Sgt. Collin Stosberg of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
The accident occurred after Brady’s minivan had turned into the eastbound lanes of County Road DD from Litton Way, east of Smithville. Brady started “sneezing violently,” according to the patrol’s report, and her minivan crossed the center line of County DD, striking McClendon’s car head-on.
The patrol cited Brady for careless and imprudent driving, as well as for having no insurance, Stosberg said. The patrol is continuing to investigate.
Just 24-hours after the accident in Missouri, Boston.com reports another sneezing accident: "a woman said a sneeze caused her to lose control of her car, which crashed into the rear of a State Police cruiser stopped along Interstate 95 in Canton on Sunday, authorities said. The cruiser was in the breakdown lane, stopped behind a vehicle that had a flat tire north of exit 11 on I-95 northbound, according to a statement from State Police."
A year earlier, another sneezing driver in Maryland killed his passenger. Brian David Evans was driving near Salisbury, Maryland when he had a sneezing attack. During the sudden attack, he lost control of the vehicle he was driving and crashed into an oak tree on the side of the highway.
Certainly with more concern about texting and cell phone use while driving, sneezing hasn't yet been an issue highlighted as causing serious injury in the media.