La Veta pass, located in the gateway to the San Luis Valley can be especially dangerous for motorists. This pass is loaded with blind curves. Sure, solid yellow lines prohibit passing in these dangerous areas, but vehicles oftentimes ignore the law. Everyone knows that the rule of the road is DO NOT PASS on a solid yellow line.
But, impatience oftentimes leads to terrible decisions. Recently, a man driving a Cadillac Escalade passed another vehicle over a solid yellow line and ran head-on with an unsuspecting motorist. Due to his impatience and recklessness, the unsuspecting woman was killed in the crash. How tragic! The decision to ignore the law and pass when the rule of the road prohibits such behavior is nothing short of selfish. People want to “take a chance” just so save a few minutes and get around a slower vehicle. Why? La Veta pass has several passing lanes. All one must do is exercise a small bit of patience and wait for an opening to pass when it is safe. In this most recent case, many lives were affected by this man’s selfish decision to ignore the law. Of course, the family of the deceased woman will be grief-stricken for years just because someone decided to needlessly endanger everyone by passing on a solid yellow line. However, in this case, others were hurt. This senseless act of selfishness also caused 3 other vehicles to collide, causing injury to all the people riding in those vehicles. The drivers of those 3 other vehicles were from Alabama, Texas and Pueblo. So, to wrap it all up, the impatience and selfishness of one individual, needlessly endangering the lives of everyone on that mountain last week, has killed a person, injured several others and disrupted the lives of at least 5 families from 3 different states. In my opinion, a good case could be made for an award of punitive or exemplary damages. Punitive or exemplary damages are to punish the wrongdoer and send a message to everyone that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in our society. It requires the wrongdoer to pay money, not just to compensate the victims of his bad choice, but also for punishment when his conduct is reckless.