According to the Federal Highway Administration, wrong-way accidents cause between 300 to 400 roadway fatalities In the United States each year. Although wrong-way accidents involve only 3% of all motor vehicle accidents, they are the top type of motor vehicle accidents to result in a fatality. Wrong-way driving collisions typically result in head-on collisions, which can cause serious and traumatic injuries. They often have long-term residual effects that can lead to a lifetime of rehabilitation and disability. Common injuries include broken bones, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and partial or full paralysis.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that a woman from New Port Richey was killed in a wrong-way collision after crossing the median on U.S. 19.
The tragic accident occurred on Tuesday at about 5:19 p.m. on U.S. 19, just north of Alderman Road.
55-year-old Melanie Cohen was driving a Chevy HHR north on U.S. 19 when she lost control of her vehicle. Despite all attempts to correct her vehicle’s movements, she still crossed the median and drove into southbound traffic. Suddenly, she struck an Audi Q5 that was being driven by 74-year-old Adrenne Wygonik.
The precise details about what caused Cohen to lose control of the vehicle is currently unknown. She was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. According to troopers, there was no indication that Cohen was wearing a seatbelt prior to the accident.
Wygonik was wearing a seatbelt and suffered from serious injuries. She was transported to a local hospital.