Woman killed while tailgating at Yale-Harvard football game

Some years, it’s held in Cambridge, Massachusetts; other years, it’s held in New Haven, Connecticut. The football matchup between Yale and Harvard, known as “The Game,” is one of the longest-running American sports rivalries, and is something that fans look forward to each year.

Sadly, this year’s event was overshadowed by tragedy when the driver of a U-Haul truck drove into a tailgating area and collided into three women. A 30-year old Massachusetts woman was killed and two others sustained injuries in the fatal accident.

Police said that the man who was driving the U-Haul, a student at Yale, has not been charged. It was reported that he was hauling kegs of beer in the truck to a fraternity-sponsored tailgating party. Police said that the man was given a sobriety test and passed.

Following the accident, questions about why the accident occurred and who is at fault remain.

According to a lawyer for the driver of the U-Haul, a “vehicle malfunction” is responsible. Police are said to be conducting a “forensic investigation” of the truck in effort to determine if it had mechanical problems.

But other parties, too, may face liability in a personal injury lawsuit brought by the family of the woman who was killed and the two women who were injured.

In an interview, local attorneys guessed that the driver of the U-Haul, the owner of the U-Haul, the fraternity sponsoring the party and the school could all potentially be named as defendants in an ensuing lawsuit. The city of New Haven could also be accused of contributing to the accident, it was suspected.

Ultimately, any party whose negligence is deemed to have contributed to the incident could face liability. As with many personal injury cases, there are several layers of causation and duties that will need to be assessed.

Source: Litchfield County Times, “Questions of Liability Loom Large in Yale Parking Lot Fatality,” Mark Zaretsky, Nov. 21, 2011.